Senate Begins Probe of Fuel Scarcity

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The Senate has mandated its joint committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) to investigate the biting fuel scarcity in the country.

This followed a motion by the Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), who drew the attention of the Senate to the biting fuel scarcity.

Ningi told his colleagues that it was obvious that the fuel crisis was creating immeasurable hardship for Nigerians.

fuel scarcity in petroleum resources upstream and downstream

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The Senate, he said, should take it as a matter of priority to find out what was behind the lingering problem.

He added that Nigerians should be told whether fuel scarcity has come to stay in the country and whether they have to brace for the hardship it brings.

He noted that the best thing to do in the circumstance was to ask relevant committees to dig into the crisis so that the Senate would be in a position to brief the citizens.

Ningi said the Senate should not pretend not to be aware that Nigerians are suffering for no fault of theirs due to prolonged scarcity.

He noted that since the Seventh Senate still had the mandate of the people until June 1, the upper chamber had the responsibility to intervene in the crisis of fuel scarcity in the interest of the people.

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Ningi said: “We need to know whether fuel scarcity has come to stay. We need to know whether it has become part of our life so that we can plan.

“By planning and talking about it, we will be able to sensitise Nigerians to brace for the impending issue of fuel scarcity, whether it is going to be here permanently or temporary.

“But we can’t know all these things until we hear from the experts. Therefore, my prayer is to ask the committees on Downstream and Upstream to come up with explanations next Tuesday through, which Nigerians will know and plan their future.

“Otherwise, I think it is legally and morally wrong to keep silent about it, sweep it under the carpet and to continue to believe these things are usual.”

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, did not allow debate of the motion.

Ekweremadu said that since Ningi raised the motion under personal explanation, the Senate would not debate it.

Ekweremadu said: “Ningi’s prayers are simple and straightforward. He is asking us, as representatives of the people, to direct our committees on Petroleum Upstream and Downstream to find out what is currently going on in the oil sector and possibly find a way of addressing it.

“In that regard, we now ask our committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), to find out what is going on and what the government is doing about it and report back on Tuesday next week.”

When Ekweremadu put it to vote, the motion was unanimously carried.

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