Fuel scarcity: There was no request from the presidency on payment to oil marketers - Senate counters Buhari’s aide

- The Senate has denied a claim made by the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari, that oil marketers had not been paid their debt because the National Assembly had not approved the request for the loan for the payment

- The Senate wondered which payment the presidency was referring to, as it stated that petroleum subsidy had been cancelled by the Buhari administration

- The upper legislative chamber called on the presidency to work with the legislature to find solutions to end the current fuel scarcity, instead of seeking to blame someone else

The Senate has responded to a claim made by Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, that the debt owed to oil marketers had not been paid because the National Assembly had not approved the presidency’s request for a loan for that purpose.

The upper legislative chamber made its position public in a statement signed by Sen Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs.

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In the statement which was sent to Legit.ng, Abdullahi stated that no such request had been made.

Abdullahi further urged Kyari to prove his claim or retract it.

The statement read in full: “The attention of the Senate has been drawn to a claim said to have been made by the chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari, during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry on the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, to the effect that the payment of debt owed to oil marketers was being delayed because the National Assembly has not approved request presented to the legislature for loan meant for that purpose.

“The Senate would want members of the public to know that no such request has been made to it, specifically requesting for loan meant for payment to oil marketers.

“The 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 for 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', both the executive and legislature should work together to solve this unnecessary fuel crisis which is making life more difficult for our people.

“That is why members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream were mandated by the Senate president to suspend their recess and embark on oversight visits to key areas in the sector while it would tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 4th) hold an investigative public hearing with all stakeholders aimed at finding solution to the problem of fuel scarcity."

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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria attributed the fuel scarcity experienced by Nigerians during the Yuletide to the increase of crude oil price in the international market, and the removal of subsidy.

After a meeting between petroleum marketers and government representatives, the chairman of DAPMAN, Dapo Abiodun, explained to State House correspondents that marketers were finding it difficult to import the petroleum products because of the increase in the price of crude oil.

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