The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday accused the Presidency of deliberately peddling falsehood over a request to pay oil marketers, urging the Executive to partner with in resolving the present fuel crisis rather than resort to blame game.
Recall that the President’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari had blamed scarcity of petrol on the failure of the Senate to approve a loan request submitted to it by the Executive, for the payment of debts owed oil marketers.
He made this claim on Tuesday while meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry on the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.
Reacting in a statement, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi said the upper legislative chamber never received such request from the presidency.
He said, “Senate will want the public to know that no such request has been made to it; specifically requesting for loan meant for payment to oil marketers. Senate is aware that subsidy on petroleum had been cancelled by this administration; so we wonder which payment we are talking about now.
“Senators have been inundated with calls from oil marketers who were present at the meeting with the chief of staff to the president on the issue and, thus, we call on Mallam Kyari to either prove his claim or retract it.
“It should be noted that a similar claim was made by the Minister of Finance on the foreign loan, at a time the Presidency had not forwarded the request. The letter requesting the foreign loan was submitted long after she was confronted with the fact. It is the opinion of the Senate that, instead of resorting to false claims and shifting blames in the mould of ‘Blame Someone Else,’ the Executive and Legislature should work together to solve this unecessary fuel crisis which is making life more difficult for our people.”
Abdullahi added that members of the Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) were mandated to suspend their recess and embark on oversight visits to key areas in the sector. It will today conduct a public hearing with all stakeholders, aimed at resolving the problem of fuel scarcity in the country.