The Senate on Thursday urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency direct all concerned agencies to immediately pay subsidy arrears to oil marketers an avoid a looming fuel crisis.
The lawmakers also urged the oil marketers to, as a matter of national interest, rescind their decision on the7-day ultimatum they gave to government on the matter and allow necessary steps to be taken.
Adopting a motion titled ‘Urgent need to avert looming fuel scarcity,’ by Sen Kabiru Garba Marafa (APC,Zamfara), the senators said both marketers and the Debt Management Office (DMO)should agree on the instrument to be used in payment.
Marafa said it was unfortunate that after the National Assembly approved the promissory note of N429bn for the Executive arm to settle the subsidy arrears, the money has yet to be paid.
“We believe it is a deliberate attempt to cause hardship for Nigerians. The action of the marketers, if not checked, will create artificial fuel scarcity that may span into the election period,” he said.
Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe), said there were people bent on sabotaging the current administration.
But he was countered by Senators Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa) and Ibrahim Abdullahi Danbaba (PDP, Sokoto), who said it is the Executive arm that was sabotaging itself.
Sen Ahmed Babba Kaita (APC,Katsina) cautioned that an issue of this nature did not call for partisanship or political affiliation, noting that the most important thing was to resolve it amicably in national interest.
The senate’s submission comes days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation allayed fears of scarcity of petrol this yuletide season, saying they had enough product to ‘keep the country wet’.