The management of RADAR Newspaper views with serious concern, the lingering fuel crisis which has made life a most harrowing experience in Akwa Ibom State.
It’s most unfortunate that while other Nigerians are recovering from the excruciating nationwide shortage of fuel after the intervention of the federal government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Akwa Ibom people have been compelled to bear this unpleasant experience for too long, owing to an alleged industrial action by members of the National Union for Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG)
RADAR Newspaper considers the action of NUPENG ill-timed as it has inadvertently become an extension of the national fuel crisis in Akwa Ibom State.
Sadly, life has virtually come to a standstill and government’s efforts at communicating with Akwa Ibom people on the crisis, is at best half hearted, lack lustre and uncoordinated.
It would be recalled that when the entire nation recently experienced something similar, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu constantly briefed Nigerians on the causes of the problem and efforts made to solve it with timelines.He never failed to provide those vital updates despite criticisms by Nigerians who became increasingly impatient under the weight of hardship caused by the crisis. In retrospect, it was a commendable effort.
RADAR Newspaper welcomes the announcement that fuel will soon be available in the State.The paper however advises the state government to ensure that activities of unscrupulous marketers are checked to ensure that Akwa Ibom people buy fuel at government approved price like other Nigerians.
It will be most insensitive to leave Akwa Ibom people once again, at the mercy of petroleum marketers who are obviously preoccupied with profit making at the expense of others.
Moreso,considering the far reaching impact of a day’s fuel shortage on the economy of the state and in particular, the well being of the common man, there’s need for government to adopt measures which will ensure that problems in the petroleum sector are often addressed before they deal a serious blow on the state economy and expose the already impoverished Akwa Ibom people to more hardship.
The State Task Force on Petroleum should be made to discharge its responsibilities more effectively than it is presently doing.With the expected availability of petroleum products in the State as a result of the truce reached by the contending parties, the equally serious problem of arbitrary hike in prices should be vigorously confronted by the Task Force and other government agencies concerned.
The State House of Assembly and its Committee on Petroleum Matters should work with the Executive to ensure that Akwa Ibom people do not experience such avoidable hardship anymore.