FG turned down petroleum marketers’ request for pump price increase — Adesina

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By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—AMID condemnation of airing of the presidential documentary entitled, “Human Side of President Buhari” at a time Nigerians are passing through agony caused by fuel scarcity,  the Presidency yesterday described the documentary as a spice for the holiday.

It also revealed that some petroleum marketers have approached government for an increment in the pump price, a request government turned down.

The Media and Publicity Department of the State House had on Saturday in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said a 55-minute documentary on President Muhammadu Buhari had been put together.

Femi Adesina

Adesina explained that the documentary portrayed the President in a light that majority of Nigerians had not seen him.

He said:  “It is made up of interviews from close aides of the President and some others who have worked closely with him, carefully put together to show a side of the President that many would love to see.

“This documentary will air on the Network Service of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, on Sunday, December 24 and Tuesday December 26, 2017. It will also air on Channels Television on Monday, December 25, 2017 (Christmas Day) between 8 and 9pm on the days and stations mentioned.”

But this has attracted criticism from some quarters against the government, especially as the President was yet to comment on the persisting fuel scarcity.

Reacting to the criticism, Adesina in a statement said:  “I have read a lot of reactions, particularly online, on the timing of the airing of the documentary on President Muhammadu Buhari, slated for December 24 and 25, 2017,   respectively, by 8pm on NTA and Channels Television.

“Some of the comments are borne out of genuine concern, which we appreciate, while others are virulent, coming from inveterate complainers.”

“Fault finding is the stock-in-trade of such people, and if they mistakenly find themselves in Heaven, they would even complain against God.  They have no other pastime.

“The reactions mainly dwell on the fact that a documentary showing the human side of the President (as against the well known iron and steel) is coming at a time there is severe fuel scarcity in the country. And I say, why not? Is life all about doom and gloom? Must we sit in ashes and wear sackcloth perpetually, and ignore the brighter side of life? God forbid!

“The current fuel crisis is a combination of snafu (Situation Normal All Fouled Up) in the distribution process of petrol (which the NNPC admitted at the onset of the problem), and deliberate mischief and sabotage by some marketers who want to force the hands of government to increase the pump price.

“Then, the situation is further compounded by hoarding of products, and panic buying. And government is working round the clock to restore normalcy, which will come in a matter of time.

“Should we then be perpetually like King Lear at his worst, and consign ourselves to the doldrums occasioned by fuel scarcity at a festive period? No. Despite the temporal pains, life must continue, and we must look at the cheery side, while government works hard to bring succour.

“That is why I disagree with armchair critics, who wail at the drop of a hat. Millions of Nigerians appreciate President Buhari, love him passionately, and would watch the airing of the documentary, which shows the President in a perspective not very well known before.

“It’s a spice for the holiday season, and not even ephemeral fuel crisis would dampen the enthusiasm of positive minded Nigerians.”



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