Sixteen political parties have petitioned against the taking over of the assets of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, saying it was an attempt by government to cause artificial scarcity of petroleum products and remove fuel subsidy through the back door.
The 16 parties which wrote the petition to the House of Representatives under the aegis of the National Leaders of Political Parties, NLPP, include the National Conscience Party, NCP, the Justice Party, People Progressive Party, PPP, the African Renaissance Party, ARP, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the Nigerian Advance Party, NAP, the Democratic Peoples Alliance and the National Movement of Progressive Party, NMPP.
Others were the People for Democratic Change, PDC, CPP, the Better Nigeria Progressive Party, People Salvation Party, New Democratic Party, MPP and the APSF.
In the petition which was addressed to the House Committee on Public Petitions, the parties expressed concern over the cloure of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, a company which supplies about 35 percent of daily consumption of petroleum products in the country and at a time when Nigerians were suffering from acute and perennial fuel scarcity.
According to them, ‘’during the last Presidential media chat, Mr. President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan assured Nigerians, amongst other things, that there will be regular and adequate supply of petroleum products at the filling stations and the fuel queue will be a thing of the past.
’’Contrary to his Presidential assurances, the fuel situation is worsened by the continuing closure of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited. You will recall that on January 1, 2012, Nigerians were shocked with an astronomical increase in the prices of petroleum products by the Federal Government which led to unprecedented mass protests nation-wide.
It seems to us that this closure of a local major supplier of petroleum products is an attempt by the same government to implement the same increase in the price of fuel through the back door. If this closure is not reversed, the fuel scarcity in the country will exacerbate and cause enormous hardship, suffering, inflation, economic stagnation and aggravation of other debilitating social and economic indicators in the country.
’’More importantly, the closure of Capital Oil will lead to the dismissal of over 5000 workers of the company and their dependants, in an economy that is already volatile with over 50 million youths unemployed.
Whereas the youths ofNigeriaare expecting a marshal plan of aggressive job creation, the government that promised a transformative agenda, is implementing policies that are aggravating the unemployment situation in the country by sacking workers even in the private sector.
The House of Representatives have just declared that no place is safe in Nigeria anymore due to activities of terrorists; security formations such as the Military Cantonment at Jaji, Police Headquarters in Abuja, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, and numerous Police and Military formations across the country have come under terrorists attacks. In addition, civilian targets such as United Nations Headquarters, places of worship, market places, schools and residential homes have all come under terrorist attacks.
’’We, the national leaders of political parties, having visited the shut down facilities of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited in Apapa, Lagos wish to draw the attention of the National Assembly that the facilities are totally unsecured and unprotected.
We observed the closed down facilities and were amazed that they were completely unsecured. We noticed that the gates and fence at the water front were vandalized leaving the entire facilities open to pirates and other oil thieves. We also observed quite a number of oil drums scattered around clearly being used to pilfer petroleum products from the facilities.
‘’We are amazed that one person, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, a major player in the oil subsidy imbroglio, also an interested party in the debts related to Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, happens to be the person appointed by the President to head the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy. This is a glaring case of conflict of interest that an ordinary person would have expected the government to know and avoid.
‘’May we respectfully remind this House of Representatives that it has a responsibility to prevail on Mr. President to make available to the public the full and original report of the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede led Presidential Committee on subsidy.
In the same vein, we demand, on behalf of the long-suffering Masses of this country, that the House should also ensure that the Federal Ministry of Finance make full disclosure of all waivers granted to the oil marketers and the beneficiaries.
We also demand to know who are directly responsible for the disbursement of the subsidy payments to the oil marketers. The Masses of this country have the right to know. It is public knowledge that Access Bank granted an unsecured loan amounting to $164 million… who is also the Chairman of the Credit Committee of Access Bank Plc.