CSO demands inquest into bad fuel, replacement of damaged automobiles

The Federal Government should give serious penalty for the serious economic sabotage carried out by importers of the bad fuel which has caused serious pains to Nigerians, a human rights organisation, under the aegis of Youth Arise for Undiluted Leadership And Development Initiative, has said.

The organisation also demanded the sack of the heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and that of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency.

The National Coordinator of YAULDI, Lucky Akhrame, at a press conference in Abuja, said a census of public and private damaged automobiles be replaced as part of the penalty to the perpetrators of the heinous economic crime.

According to him, it was not enough for the NNPC to apologise to Nigerians for the failure of contracted importers to breach the terms of their contract and render bad services to the Nigerian public.

He said the matter was one of national security and demanded a clinical investigation to get to the root of the matter.

Akhrame maintained that the four organisations fingered in the importation of the bad fuel that led Nigeria into the long weeks of scarcity, which recorded damaged vehicles, must take responsibility for their actions.

He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari should step in now and replace the heads of the NMDPRA and the NNPC. One thing is obvious, using NNPC pensioners as regulators in a sector where NNPC itself operates as a behemoth, cannot possibly bode well for Nigeria.

“It is not in the best interest of the Nigerian public. It negates the spirit of the PIA. The conflicts of interests and the connivance of the two organizations are apparent.

“A regulator should be firm, proactive, assiduous, and protective of public interest. It is not the case with the NMDPRA.

“The NMDPRA CEO presents the organization as subservient to players in its industry, novice and completely incompetent.

“The President should also set up an Independent Panel of Inquiry into the circumstances that surrounded the importation of the contaminated petroleum products into the country by the NNPC and its contractors.

“The GMD of the NNPC has offered no reasonable explanation, proffered no working or workable solution to the protracted scarcity, and appeared totally in a quandary. These generally leave room for loss of faith in government.

“It is not enough for the NNPC to offer apologies. Would these apologies automatically restore the several automobiles of our fellow citizens that has been damaged by the substandard petroleum product imported into the country?”

“It is now a matter of national security and overriding public interest for the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; the GMD of NNPC and CEO of NMDPRA (Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency) to present to the public the finding of their investigations into the importation of adulterated petroleum products.

“The four organizations earlier fingered; Brittania-U, AY Mai Kifi, Emmadeb and Hide-Energy, have all denied any wrongdoings. So, who imported the adulterated petroleum into Nigeria? Who certified its quality? Why is the downstream Regulator so reckless and incompetent?

“It is unacceptable for the head of a public regulator, managing a sensitive part of the economy, to be junketing the globe while our citizens are subjected to so much misery caused by the abdication of its statutory responsibilities?

“Nigerians have for weeks been exposed to bad fuel which caused damages to many automobiles, created fuel scarcity, created increased transport fares and long waits at the various bus stops across the nation.”

Punch

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