By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
Despite blaming oil marketers for creating artificial scarcity that led to the lingering fuel crisis across the country, the Federal Government says no single marketer has been identified as being behind the fuel scarcity.
Meanwhile, the major players in the oil industry have attributed the fuel scarcity to the increase in crude oil price at the international market and the removal of subsidy.
Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Petroleum Resources made this disclosure on Tuesday at the end of the meeting between the federal government and major oil marketers called by Abba Kiyari, the Chief of Staff to the President to find an immediate solution to the fuel crisis.
The Minister also said no marketer has been prosecuted in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive because there has not been any evidence of culpability on any of them.
Kachikwu revealed that the whole idea of the meeting was to do a critical analysis of what really went wrong.
“Like you know for over two years we have been out of this problem, it’s been working well, NNPC has been managing it properly and suddenly there was this gap. “So they wanted us to put heads together to find out what went wrong. It’s not a fault finding meeting; it’s about how we take corrective measures to avoid that and what are the things that are creating difficulties in the system.”
Continuing he added that, “because fuel scarcity has been ever lingering 30, 40 year old thing and I think it is to the credit of Mr. President and his government over the last two years that we haven’t had any of this through his policy that he has enunciated.
“So that was the objective of today’s meeting. Everybody gave ideas, everybody was collaboratively finding solutions. The GMD started by presenting what the scenario was. At least for now it has taken away the fuel queues that you see. We then dug into the long-term solutions and everybody contributed.
“We set up a committee which I will head. Members include the GMD, most of the parastatals in the ministry, DAPMAN, IPMAN, NOMAN, Labour unions, and we are to meet in my office tomorrow and dig deeper into this thing and find a long term solution.
“This is a major concern that Nigerians should not be made to suffer, that Nigerians do not get through the kind of thing they went through this December. We want to find lasting solution and that is what the committee will come out with in the resolutions tomorrow,” Kachikwu noted.
When asked whether all the erring marketers during the dark period were found and sanctioned, he said, “The thing is even the Nigerians who have suffered. We will want to be sure that we find a lasting solution and find evidential basis upon which to punish people. This is a democratic government.”