By Bukar Bolori
President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked by a civil advocacy group, the Youth Arise for Undiluted Leadership and Development Initiative to “replace” the heads of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the lingering scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
The group, which made the call on Thursday, said that the apology tendered by the leadership of the NNPC and the other agencies was not enough because it would not restore the damages done to the vehicles and machines occasioned by the contaminated fuel brought into the country by the NNPC and without the detection of relevant regulatory agencies.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Lucky Akharame, traced the current unending fuel to the importation of contaminated petroleum products by the NNPC, which according to him has brought untoward misery and agony upon Nigerians.
Comrade Akharame told journalists that the NNPC cannot absolved itself from blame because under the Petroleum Industry Act, it is the sole importer of Petroleum Products into Nigeria.
The group further indicted agencies such as the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), of complicity
While calling on the Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; the GMD of NNPC and CEO of NMDPRA to present to the public the finding of their investigations into the importation of adulterated petroleum products, the group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “step in now and replace the heads of the NMDPRA and the NNPC”.
Akharame claimed that “using NNPC Pensioners as Regulators in a sector where NNPC itself operates as a behemoth, cannot possibly bode well for Nigeria.
“It is not in the best interest of the Nigerian public. It negates the spirit of the PIA.
“The conflicts of interests and the connivance of the two organizations are apparent. A regulator should be firm, proactive, assiduous, and protective of public interest. It is not the case with the NMDPRA.
The NMDPRA CEO presents the organization as subservient to players in its industry, novice and completely incompetent”.
They further called on the president to set up an Independent Panel of Inquiry into the circumstances that surrounded the importation of the contaminated petroleum products into the country by the NNPC and its contractors.