Even as normal distribution and retail of petroleum products is yet to be restored in most pats of the country, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has accused the Federal Government of “managerial imperfection” in the handling of fuel distribution especially in the Northern part of the country.
The ACF’s outburst coincided with the re-emergence of scarcity of the essential products throughout the federation
The group in a statement that was released last week and which was signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony San observed that rather than abating, scarcity of petroleum products has become a permanent feature of the nation’s economy, adding that it has contributed to the burden that is being faced by most Nigerians, stressing that government’s excuses are not convincing.
“In the case of subsidies not reaching its targets, the finger must be pointed to man-made managerial imperfections, which should not be used as basis for formulation of major policies. Government and private institutions can work and so must be made to work for performances in Nigeria because they work in some climes. After all, Nigerians are not inferior mentally, spiritually, and physically.
The nation’s institutions should, therefore, be made to effect immediate and adequate supply of petroleum products to the economy. After all, this government can do it, has done it, and so should do it for the common good of the nation,” the group stated.
Kicking against government’s plans to deregulate the oil sector and consequently remover subsidy on petroleum products, the pressure group which is well respected voice of northern interests urged President Umar Yar’ Adua to take genuine and concrete steps to stop the persistent scarcity.
According to the forum, experience has shown that previous deregulation exercises only enriched the lockets of some privileged few. It said that the general opposition to the proposed increase is based on this discovery.
“As to controversy on whether to remove the subsidy or not, it must be pointed out that Nigerians do not just object to removal of petroleum products subsidy merely to be heard, but inveigh it for reasons given by government that subsidies go to the pockets of very privileged few Nigerians, whereas it is the government agents who promote such practices. It is not enough for an economic reform to throw up a few billionaires, even as poverty grinds the masses into dust”, the ACF declared.