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Senators Divided Over Fuel Scarcity, Petroleum Minister Summons

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SCARCITY-FUEL-4A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator from Abia state, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, has asked the upper chambers of the National Assembly to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to explain the current scarcity of petrol across the country.

The lawmaker argued that since President Buhari doubles as the “senior minister of petroleum”, he should be called upon to explain the cause of the present fuel scarcity.

He recounted that when his party (the PDP) controlled government at the centre, it was criticized for spending billions of naira on fuel subsidy and wondered why the current administration was taking the same approach.

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In an earlier development, ‎Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano north) and 28 others co-sponsored a motion on the current energy crisis, lamenting that fuel scarcity had remained a recurring problem in the country, hence the need to put a stop to the trend.

In his contribution to the motion, an All Progressives Congress, APC, senator from Lagos state, Gbenga Ashafa urged his colleagues to approve the N465bn supplementary budget of President Muhammadu Buhari so that subsidy claims could be settled for Nigerians to be saved from the hardship.

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But Abaribe faulted his stance, stressing that had the supplementary budget been passed, Buhari’s government would have expended about N600bn on fuel subsidy “in just six months.”

However, an APC senator from Kogi state, Dino Melaye, countered by describing the oil marketers, who receive the subsidy money, as members of the PDP, whom “the new government is still trying to change.”

He averred that while the PDP government spent trillions of naira on fuel subsidy, the federal government under APC would not do that. ‎

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Eventually, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki ruled that the Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream) should investigate the scarcity and submit its report in two weeks.

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