Did you notice that as soon as the hiked fuel price was announced, stations that had not sold petrol in 10 months suddenly opened their gates to motorists? The reason was simple: as anti-corruption as the Buhari government prides itself to be, the past 11 months of this administration saw the oil cabal make billions of dollars by diverting supplied product to the black market under the wide eyes of the oil Ministry and security department.
Nigeria was sold to the black market fuel hustle for 11 months and has now been transferred into the hands of the Black market forex hustle. Literally from one black market to another.
If you do not believe all this was planned, then take a look at Minister Ibe Kachikwu’s own confession as reported in all dailies on March 23rd. The Minister said under no apparent duress while ridiculing Nigerians that he “was not a magician”:
“the government’s strategy is that whatever produced in the refineries will not go for sale but will be kept “in strategic reserve because the key problem here is that there is no reserve; anytime there is a gap in supply, it goes off…So, we’re going to dedicate the next couple of months to moving all the products that we produce to strategic reserve so that we can pile up reserves and that will push up the reserves in the nation.”
Ibe Kachikwu was openly admitting to “strategically reserving or hoarding” fuel and promised that after this hoarding was optimal, in about two months, the fuel scarcity would resolve.
Can such a Minister whose [promise holds no water, now be trusted?
Why was Kachikwu by his own admission, strategically hoarding fuel?
By so doing, and by not regulating the sale of available fuel, allowing the black market to take over across the nation, Kachikwu instituted the hardship Nigerians underwent for the past months and aided the oil marketer cabal make billions through black market.
In Kachikwu’s recent hike explanation speech released on his FaceBook page Monday, the Minister alluded to the fact that he had pity for the oil marketers. For the record, these are the same cabal who made fortunes while Nigerians suffered through the subsidy during the Diezani years. Rather than pity the masses and make available the same dollars the government sets aside for Dangote’s $14 billion refinery and other cabal businesses, Kachikwu in his speech rejoiced the return of these hawks to money making business in the fuel supply chain to the detriment of the masses.
“We will make 200,000 jobs,” Kachikwu said. How? What new jobs that are not existent in the bubbling downstream sector is this price upward regulation going to make? It is so easy to just throw these number around to hoodwink the masses.
Another point Kachikwu failed to address is why the Federal government, still, I presume, importing 50% of consumed fuel with CBN dollars (at the N197) rate, will be making a whopping N50 on the heads of suffering Nigerians per liter sold. Is this a time for Nigeria’s NNPC to make such money on the heads of the suffering masses? Should the masses not get some reprieve for a year or two before such margins are made on their heads by this new government taxation?
Jonathan promised that the removed subsidy will be invested in national projects. What is this NNPC going to do with the 50% mark-up profit it is making on the heads of Nigerians from its own share of product sourced with CBN dollars? I doubt the Senate asked Kachikwu this question.
Many do not understand the dynamics of the fuel hike and support Buhari blindly instead of supporting Nigeria and themselves. But Nigerians need more brain than heart. We cannot compare Nigeria to Saudi Arabia or Qatar that recently hiked their fuel prices as an editorial did for the simple reason: Nigeria has the most poor per capital than any nation in the world. We have over 90 million citizens living on under a dollar-a-day and Buhari’s handouts to a privileged few million will do little to address the suffering in Nigeria.
Again, why should a handful of single individuals like Dangote and other cabal have access to dollars at the N197 CBN rate while the 170 million Nigerian masses are denied the privilege in business and now for the paltry $3 billion needed to import the 6 billion liters of fuel used per year? Can Kachikwu justify these issues…as governing processes are never examined in isolation but in totality. Why did Godwin Emefiele promise Dangote this January that he will get all the CBN rate dollars he needs while the masses can get no such respite for their businesses and even for their fuel? Buhari answered this question when asked on Aljazeera, “those who can afford it.” He meant, those who the government decides are worthy enough to be given the privileged access to CBN dollars.
You just got cut out of that privileged club completely. This is why many of us have clamored for the devaluation of the devalued naira to stop this corruption and oppression. Only then can the fuel hiked rate be justified.
It is like a race where some are given a 50 meter advantage over the rest. It is corruption, oppression and injustice to give an advantage to the cabal and deny the masses.
Nigeria is betrothed to the black market while the cabal move from billions to billions as the world’s richest men, with a 50% advantage over you.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigeria,; also on http://Naija.Live online radio.