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Saraki directs senate committee to probe fuel scarcity, but don’t get your hopes high

Politics

Saraki directs senate committee to probe fuel scarcity, but don’t get your hopes high

Senate President Bukola Saraki has directed the committee on petroleum resources to cut short its recess and convene a stakeholders meeting over petrol scarcity, according to a statement by the chairman of the committee, Kabir Marafa, on Thursday.

Marafa disclosed that the meeting which would hold on January 4th, will be aired on the NTA. It’s purpose is to “put a complete stop to the unsavoury development.”

According to the statement, the meeting is “meant to address the lingering fuel scarcity bedevilling the nation in the last few weeks with a view to put a complete stop to the unsavoury development.”

But don’t get your hope high – it is unlikely that he senate investigation would yield much.

Two reasons:

  1. The issues around the scarcity evolve around the huge subsidies of up to N40 which the FG is paying on each liter of PMS imported into the country. The way around it is to either devalue the Naira or remove the subsidy altogether. With the elections so close and Pres. Buhari clearly interested in a second term, none of those options look feasible.
  2. Secondly, the senate is famous for setting up committees to investigate every new issue that arises. Their efforts hardly ever result in any noticeable action. When a few months ago, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, was accused of awarded contracts worth $25 billion illegally, the senate constituted a committee chaired by Ahmed Makarfi, the former Kaduna governor. Following pressure from religious and political leaders, including Pres. Muhammadu Buhari himself who invited Makarfi to a meeting at the villa, the committee failed to even sit. That does not give much confidence in another senate investigation around the petroleum sector.

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