Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Fuel Scarcity Impede Pupils Attendance To School In Northern Nigeria

By Iliya Kure
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Ismail Hassan has not been to school since last week. His mother is afraid this could go on for a long time, despite the fact that the school may close in three weeks. “He has not written some of his papers in the exams” she said expressing fear that it may affect his progress in school.

“We are worried” she told AFRICAPRIMENEWS.

Ismail is one out of many pupils in Kaduna and probably parts of Nigeria, where pupils have stopped going to school because of the hardship presented by petrol scarcity in Nigeria.

Many filling stations have stopped selling the product due to shortage in supply, prices have also gone high where they are found

A number of schools are also recording low pupils turn out, and this is causing confusion among teachers of some primary schools. “We cant sanction them because it is not their fault, it is the fuel scarcity, we are also suffering it”. Says Ibrahim, a teacher in one of the primary schools in Kaduna metropolis.

The shortage in supply to petrol stations in nigeria is attributed to shortage of the commodity in the country.

For another teacher, Malam Alhassan, “government need to pity the common man and ensure this products are available in all filling stations. It is affecting our coming to school. Some teachers come to school late, while other children have stopped coming to school.

Africa’s largest economy and biggest oil producer on the continent is unable to refine enough oil to meet its domestic needs. Petrol which is sold at N87.00 government control price today is sold at N200.00 by touts, in other cities it is N250.00.

This is because the commodity supplied to filling stations end up in the hands of touts, who sell it at exorbitant price.

To help reduce the diversion of the products, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has restricted filling stations to selling petroleum product between 6.00am to 8.00pm pending an improvement in the situation which it says has caused untold hardship on Nigerians.
In another move, the Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Kaduna State Command has arrested eight filling stations Managers, and ceased two tankers for diversion of petroleum product in Kaduna.

NSCDC State Commandant, Modu Bunu said “In view of the biting fuel scarcity leading to long queues across the Nation and the urgent need to end it, the Kaduna Command of NSCDC has stepped out measures to check-mate petroleum dealers who indulge in selling over the approved pump price to black-marketers beyond official hours which is from 0600hrs to 2000hrs,” he noted.

Nigerian government says the shortage is caused by refusal of the fuel importers to supply the commodity due to sabotage. But on their part, the importers say government owed them subsidy money which they need in order to import more fuel.

The government had already presented the National Assembly with supplementary budget of N575 billion to pay for the gap created in the payment of subsidy to the importers.

For Mike Sunny, “this is a clear case of corruption for a leader who came in to fight corruption, after all, during his campaign they say there is nothing called fuel subsidy, all appropriated money is stolen by Jonathan’s administration, this means Buhari is stealing the money he wants the National Assembly to approve for subsidy.

“This is business as usual, it is a shame that as minister of petroleum the president is busy going round the world while we suffer.”

Nigeria has a history of unaccounted money from the sales of its oil, with many of its key officers accusing the country leadership of embezzling oil proceeds.

An unpublished audit report commissioned by the petroleum ministry in early 2012 reveals that about $29bn was lost over 10 years in price-fixing scam involving the sale of natural gas. It also estimated that the country loses $6bn a year due to oil theft.
World Bank’s ex-vice-president for Africa, Oby Ezekwesili in August 2014 said about $400bn of Nigeria’s oil revenue have been stolen or misspent since the country’s independence in 1960.
Another unpublished report by Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force also uncovered a $29bn fuel subsidy scam.
A National Assembly report of April 2014 shows that Nigeria has loss $6.8bn in fuel subsidy scam in two years.

The politics of the fuel subsidy and corruption may continue across the nation, creating basis for debate for the different divide in the country either religious or ethnic lines, but many more pupils would continue to pay for it the hard way by not going to school.

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