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Your Protest Holds No Water; Group Tells Nigeria First

The Integrity Youth Alliance has said that the proposed protest by a group known as Nigeria First slated for Monday, February 21, 2022, holds no water.

The rights group in a statement on Saturday by its National Coordinator, Mr. Kelvin Adegbenga, and the Board of Trustees Chairman, Comrade Adewole Kehinde, said: “This is a GMD/CEO in the history of Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited that has sustained uninterrupted availability of Premium Motor Spirit for the past four years, he deserves commendation rather than sponsored protest again his persons.”

“Rather than calling for the resignation of the CEO of the NNPC, the so-called Nigeria First should join Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to go a step further by establishing an independent, arms-length and expert-led compensation committee that would review the fuel importation record, evaluate claims of members of the public, mandate culpable importers to pay into a compensation fund irrespective of how highly placed they may be, and then distribute such funds to members of the public with cogent and verifiable claims.

“Also, there is an urgent need for more stringent environmental provisions in the Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Product Agreements,” the group said.

It lamented that there is a need for transparency and consistency in the negotiation, approval, and implementation of all Direct Sales of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Product Agreements. A situation whereby some agreements for preferred bidders allegedly allow for higher sulphur content, or where the DSDP agreement stipulates environmental standards lower than the government’s own published guidelines and regulations leaves room for ambiguities and confusion and must be avoided.

“On the part of the government, there is a need to make provision for adequate capacity and resources, in terms of modern equipment tools, resources, and training needed by regulatory institutions to effectively spot and deter illegal imports and return them to the source.”

“There is also the need to strengthen the surveillance and monitoring structures in place so that Nigeria could easily detect such violations of standards before they enter into the domestic supply chains,” it added.

The Group reiterated that Mal Mele Kyari must be commended for his boldness in coming out and naming the importers of the adulterated fuel and the actions taken to recall the ones that have gone out while the ones in the cargo are quarantined.

It will be recalled that the Group Managing Director of the NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream to investigate the importation of adulterated fuel, has apologized to Nigerians over the importation of toxic fuel, which caused the current scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit across major cities in the country.

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