By Sadiq Umar – The Federal Government on Monday accused former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of being responsible for the worsening fuel scarcity across Nigeria, blaming it for inadequate budgetary provision for fuel subsidy in the 2015 Appropriation.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the 8-month old Buhari administration is paying for the sins of the last administration.
Mr. Mohammed who spoke with journalists at the State House, Abuja said the current Government was faced with logistic problems including vandalised fuel pipelines which hinders fuel transportation, it inherited from the Jonathan’s administration.
According to him, the fuel scarcity being experienced now was as a result of these inherited problems. “One of the reasons for the fuel scarcity was the inability of the last government to make inadequate provision for fuel subsidy.
“We do face some other logistic problems but majorly, we are paying for the sins of the last administration.”
He stressed that the issue was not the non-availability of the product but distribution, coupled with traffic at the Lagos port.
“What I will be telling Nigerians is that what we met on ground is such that we are paying for the sins of the last administration. I am being very serious. You remember that about two weeks ago, we had to go to the National Assembly for a supplementary budget of N674 billion,” he said.
Adding: “Of that figure, N522billion was for arrears of fuel subsidy which was incurred as far back as August last year.
“The solution is what you have seen us doing. The first thing we have done now is to make sure that unlike before when the marketers used to import the major percentage of the fuel. NNPC has been involved in importation, because some of the marketers had stopped importing for a couple of months.”
“If you see any fuel anywhere today, it is imported by the NNPC. We also inherited the vandalisation of the pipelines which has made it impossible for us to even transport the fuel. In tanks today we have 14 days reserve and off tank we have 10 days reserve.
“The issue is not non-availability of the product it is the distribution, because of pipelines that have been vandalised and the gridlock in Lagos. It takes about five days for anybody to take fuel with tanker in Lagos.
“As at two days ago this matter has been resolved. The Mosinmi pipeline has been secured and it has lead to the improvement in the distribution, “Mr. Mohammed added.