The recent revelation by the NNPC that it spends N700m or more daily to support the importation of PMS into the country is not only alarming but clearly shows that this administration is holding back some information about the debacle the country is facing in the oil and gas sector. It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate what is going on under the Buhari administration from what occurred under President Jonathan. To say that the Aegean stable remains as dirty now as it was before is to be generous to this administration.
Back then, subsidy payments ballooned even though there was no appreciable increase in the volume of PMS being imported into the country. Now, and by NNPC’s own admission, importation has supposedly doubled, scarcity persists and marketers are pushing up pump prices across the country. The economics of this development is incomprehensible and unacceptable. It is an unambiguous display of obtuse incompetence and an unmistakable indication that government is unwilling to change its ways.
Those who rehash the worn-out argument that the panacea is to increase pump price must be economic conjurers because various governments have exercised that option repeatedly and arrived at the same undesirable outcome. Besides, increasing pump prices is unjust and amounts to double jeopardy. It punishes the Nigerian people for the sins of their leaders over the years.
The way to go stares us in the face yet we bury our head in the sand searching for distractions. Our refineries are so derelict that giving them out for free is becoming very attractive. The oil Unions that claim these refineries are national assets that must be held onto by government on behalf of the people are disingenuous and feeding fat from the rot. They are enemies of the Nigerian people. Government must stop turning around these dead assets. Is it not ridiculous that right before our eyes Dangote is building a mega refinery that has enough capacity to take care of our local consumption and even export?
The history of civilization is the history of the use or abuse of energy. We have chosen to abuse what God has blessed us with abundantly. Hence we appear hopelessly trapped.
If going forward, government cannot do the right thing or does not know what the right thing to do is, then it is time to let go of the oil and gas sector and allow the country to drift until we perish or take our destiny into our own hands. Enough is enough.