A Coalition of 52 Northern Groups on Monday called on the Federal Government to probe and prosecute importers of adulterated fuel which has led to the scarcity of the product in the country.
According to the organisation, the punitive measures became expedient due to the harrowing experiences citizens go through to buy the product.
The Director of Strategic Communication in CNG, Samaila Musa, made the recommendation in a statement in Abuja.
Musa claimed that the government would spend over N200 billion to clean up the adulterated fuel before it can be consumed in addition to the money already spent in purchasing, transporting and subsidising it.
He said, “We unequivocally demand that the importation of adulterated and methanol-blended petroleum must be thoroughly investigated.
“The perpetrators must be identified, prosecuted and sanctioned appropriately to serve as deterrence to any saboteur.
This is important because the resultant effect of fuel scarcity across the country subjected Nigerians to waste many hours on long queues at filling stations, instigated hoarding of fuel in some places and disrupted people from their daily activities.
“It is estimated that over N200 billion is now required to clean up the adulterated fuel before it can be consumed in addition to the money already spent in purchasing, transporting and subsidising the fuel.
“CNG’s position is therefore clear: that those responsible for importing the methanol-blended fuel must pay for its clean-up or refinement and resources from the public treasury should not be used for that purpose.”
Musa also slammed the government for allegedly submitting a supplementary budget of N2.557 trillion to the National Assembly as subsidy for petroleum products from June 2022.
“CNG further observed that the Federal Government submitted a supplementary budget of N2.557 trillion to the National Assembly as subsidy for petroleum products from June to December 2022.
“We have serious reservations on how this figure was arrived at. We are doubting it. We suspect inflation of figure.
Evidently, the leadership of the NNPC and Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have become saboteurs to Nigeria’s overall national economic interest through sabotaging economic activities because of this scandal; they exacerbated more hardship to citizens who are already drained and strained; they even rubbished the government they claim to be serving.
“We were reliably informed that some influential people in the Presidency, the leadership of the NNPC, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and some marketers have been orchestrating chaos in a coordinated manner in the petroleum sector after they failed to remove fuel subsidy,” he emphasized.
Musa told the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Students and Civil Society Organisations to standby as there would be a protest to correct the anomalies in the oil sector.
He said, “We shall challenge them on this vendetta all the time. The CNG, therefore, calls the NLC, TUC, NANS, CSOs and all other stakeholders against fuel subsidy removal to start strategizing and mobilising for a grand nationwide protest to demand the resignation of the top management of NNPC, Minister of Petroleum and all other functionaries creating this recurrent problem in the oil sector.
“The CNG will commence mobilisation in earnest so that all hands must be on deck to confront this problem of national significance.
“On this note, we are appealing to all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious, regional or political differences to remain prepared to troop out to the streets en masse to challenge this flimflam.
“We reiterate our position that these people are incompetent, inept and incapable of managing Nigeria’s oil industry effectively for the benefit of all.
We call on all well-meaning Nigerians particularly the concerned unions to remain in touch for protest across the country to call for the resignation or sacking of top management of the NNPC and the State Minister for Petroleum Resources as we cannot fold our arms while ordinary Nigerians are denied the little benefit they enjoy from their God-given fuel.”