Everything now depends on fuel in Nigeria. That golden liquid dictates the pace at which your day would go and the cost of almost everything. On the one hand, the dollar is molesting the economy and on the other, fuel scarcity is acting like a man nagging for his meal after a long day. The fact that litres of fuel have made its way into some people’s traditional marriage lists explains it’s importance on every level.
Despite this notable importance, Nigerians have spent the last one year in and out of the horrible fuel scarcity experience of long queues.In recent times, the plague has become worse and at this juncture, most Nigerians can be referred to as Internally Displaced Persons who spend productive time camping at fuel stations hustling for fuel.
Remember when Sai Baba promised us that fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past? He probably had good intentions but good intentions were not enough to keep the Nigerian masses from suffering from this lingering scarcity. Although we commended the efforts of the present administration when repairs on the refineries began, the way the government has managed the fuel situation after the ‘Tompolo boys’ destroyed pipelines has left much to be desired.
For an economy whose industries rely on fuel for productivity, for a people who rely on fuel to generate their own electricity, pump their own borehole water, fuel their cars e.t.c, the present administration has disappointed us.
Just last week when Nigerians were hoping that the scarcity would begin to fizzle away, the Minister of state for petroleum addressed a press conference announcing to the already edgy and fed up citizens of the federal republic of fuel scarcity that the scarcity would linger till MAY 2016 and that he had no magic wand to turn things around before then so we better be patient. To say that this was an insult to the Nigerian people would be an understatement. Who goes before an angry mob and calls them ‘bloody fools”?
In an unexpected move, Nigeria’s ‘Machiavelli’ Asiwaju Bola Tinubu whom the masses also nicknamed ‘Jagaban’ sent out a ten paragraphed open letter to Ibe Kachikwu asking him to apologize to the millions of Nigerians who employed him and whom he had so disrespected with his ‘magician comments’. This was subsequently followed by a clamour by a sect of the APC that Kachikwu resigned.
But there is no mess that doesn’t have a cleaner. Femi Adesina was the one to clean this mess up but rather than clean it up, he made it messier.
The Presidential spokesman appeared on a morning show and in an attempt to give the situation a facelift, told Nigerians to blame the vandals of the pipelines rather than transfer aggression on the government and its agent working tirelessly to improve the situation of things. Insult upon injury! Who is asking for who to blame?
These are the things the present administration needs to note about the present fuel scarcity
1, NIGERIANS ARE TIRED OF THE FUEL SCARCITY.
Yes, we know that we are known to be the suffering and smiling ones but there is a widespread feeling of frustration among the people. As much as they want to defend the fact that they did not vote deceivers into power, the fuel scarcity is not only pinching their pockets and bank accounts but also productivity and comfort. And you know this in itself is a bomb waiting to explode so why provoke the masses with magician and magic wand statements. Do we now need to train public office holders on the right way to address the people? Dr Kachikwu can keep his sarcasm in his pocket biko.
2, WE DESERVE A MAGICAL TURN AROUND OF EVENTS.
If we were to follow the campaign promise this present administration made with regards to the fuel scarcity, by now, we all are supposed to be swimming in fuel and not dangerously storing up fuel because it has suddenly become liquid gold. But if the masses have tolerated the Buhari-led government up till now, we, by all means deserve a pat on the back. It’s now exactly a year since this administration won the 2015 general elections and the harsh reality staring us in the face is a far cry from the Utopia the CHANGE government painted for us. So, if the government knows what magic to perform, it better start performing.
I must ask one question however before I end this piece. Now, the Minister of state for petroleum has made it clear that it is cheaper for Nigeria to import fuel rather than produce it, does this mean spiders can begin spinning webs in our refineries again? Is our dependence on the West to refine our oil just about to become a ’till death do us part’ situation? Nigeria, which way forward?