Fuel Queues Hit Abuja As FG Accuses Indicted Oil Marketers of Blackmail
Petrol feeling stations in the Federal Capital Terrority, FCT Wednesday witnessed long queues as motorists struggled to buy fuel. Aside from the constant threat by petroleum marketers to suspend the importation of fuel into the country, there was nothing to suggest that the nation’s Federal Capital is going to experience a sudden fuel scarcity.
In a swift reaction to the sudden development, the Federal Government accused oil marketers recently indicted by a presidential committee headed by Access Bank MD, Aig Imoukhuede.
The Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Lawal Ngama, who spoke on the issue after Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, said some marketers had deliberately embarked on a strike to sabotage fuel supply under the excuse that government failed to pay them for previous fuel imports.
Dr Ngama said the Federal Government had between April and May 2012, fully settled 14 oil marketers in the batches D/12 and E/12 of the fuel importation plan, through the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes and other relevant documentation amounting to N17billion, adding that between April and August this year, in respect of 2012 PMS claims, Sovereign Debt Notes in respect of 2012 PMS claims amounting to N42.666billion had been issued to 31 oil marketers.
He said the strike by the oil marketers which has led to the scarcity was instigated by marketers who were indicted by the presidential committee which investigated subsidy payments, adding that “the obvious intention is to blackmail the federal government in order to escape sanctions for crimes they have committed.”
As usual with every fuel scarcity, operators of the black market are already cashing in on the development to make brisk business. Many of them were seen selling fuels in cans to motorists who could afford it.
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