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Petroleum Industry: OPC Challenges Buhari Over Unfulfilled Campaign Promises, High Cost of Fuel, Gas, Jet A-1

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The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his campaign promises to check the rot in the petroleum industry and also shelve any plan to remove the payment of fuel subsidies for now.

The congress, in a statement signed by its President, Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, popularly called Askari, urged the president to ensure that the four refineries in the country are revamped and also encourage the abundant establishment of functional modular refineries.

What is happening today was not what General Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians when he was campaigning in 2014.

He promised to change the fuel situation by revamping the four refineries, which was attractive to Nigerians, who were then dissatisfied with the high cost of imported fuel. Nigerians voted for change. Now the situation is even worse.

How do you explain that Buhari called fuel subsidy of N306.92 billion a scam in 2015, but under him, fuel subsidy rose to N1.43 trillion in 2021 and N4 trillion in 2022?

By running the economy on imported fuel these past seven years, the Buhari government has sacrificed Nigerians to the unchained greediness of an evil cabal that has deliberately paralysed local refining.

Clearly, no country will do well under such a system. Time has come to say, Enough is Enough’, the OPC stated.

Buhari, as the Minister of Petroleum, the congress pointed out, lacks any excuse to import petroleum products at all. Nigeria is an oil-producing country. Nigerians are blessed with petroleum resources and they deserve to enjoy the benefits of this God-given gift,” recalling that when he took over in 2015, petrol sold for N87 per litre, but is now sold at N190.

The congress warned the government against the scrapping of fuel subsidies without ensuring the local production of crude oil, noting that it could further escalate inflation, endanger industries and increase the hardship Nigerians already suffer.

It also urged the government to equally tame the galloping prices of cooking gas, domestic kerosene and aviation fuel (Jet A-1), saying that many households and families are suffering due to the high cost of cooking gas and domestic kerosene.

Government should alleviate their sufferings by ensuring that the price of gas, for example, returns to N256/kg at most, instead of the current astronomical price of N850/kg,” it added.

Lamenting that the price of diesel (AGO) has also skyrocketed from N190 to N810, the OPC said this has a negative effect on industries and transportation with the attendant high cost of goods and services.

According to it, lower prices of fuel will reduce inflation, restore the health of the devalued Naira and increase the purchasing power of citizens, with the overall boosting of the economy.

The high prices of aviation fuel, it also said, have increased the cost of flight tickets and made travelling by air expensive, unattractive and nightmarish.

It is unreasonable that just a few months back, aviation fuel sold for N190 and today it has increased to N880. Yet the government allows the situation to continue without doing anything to bring this alarming situation under control. This is unacceptable,” the OPC said.

According to the congress, many OPEC countries are currently reaping the gains of the Ukraine-Russian war, with the world abandoning Russian oil and gas to seek alternatives; yet Nigeria, blessed with a vast reservoir of oil and gas, remains impoverished amid this vast opportunity.

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