Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Buhari's battle for Oil

Buhari's battle for OilHaving relished delightful growth in the past decade, Nigeria was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it is not one of the 15 fastest growing economies in Africa for 2016. Nigerians, as against their anticipation, are facing fuel scarcity for the third time in last ten months even with President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum Resources. THE TIMES OF AFRICA evaluates the country’s current issues and ways to cope with the existing heat wave.
Nigerians, as against their anticipation, are facing fuel scarcity for the third time in last ten months even with President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum Resources. The re-occurring of fuel shortage has certainly instigated ineffable adversity in the past few weeks for most Nigerians who depend on the commodity to meet their day-to-day needs. People are complaining that it was not what they expected when they selected President Buhari in April 2015 to pilot the undertakings of the country.


Most of them are mainly disturbed that although the number one citizen of the country doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, and having served in that capacity earlier also, the country is still experiencing protracted fuel shortage. During his campaigning, the main highlight of President Buhari’s “change” mantra was to ease the misery of the citizens by providing them with infrastructures and making pronouncements that would make life comfortable for every Nigerian.


But, three devastating fuel shortage crises have been witnessed in three months (December, 2015, February and March, 2016) out of first 10 months of President Buhari’s administration. The first major fuel scarcity that was experienced during President Buhari’s administration was in December, 2015, which saw Nigerians spending nights at filling stations in que even during the festive period.


The Minster of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had put all blame on former President Goodluck Jonathan for the fuel scarcity and queues at filling stations on. He said, “Nigerians are paying for Jonathan’s sins, “adding, “What I will be telling Nigerians is that what we met on ground is such that we are paying for the sins of the last administration. I am being very serious.” His comments, however, drew a wide range of criticism from the public. Regardless of being one of the world's biggest oil producers, Nigeria imports most of its fuel; and is presently facing a severe shortage. It does not have sufficient oil refineries and even though all the four which it had, were running at full capacity, they failed to supply a quarter of the country's demand, says John Ashbourne, an economist at the financial research firm Capital Economics. Read more....

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