A former principal officer and member of the KWHA, Hon. Kayode Omotose PhD has blamed the government and in particular the Kwara State House of Assembly for the exorbitant and disproportionate prices for which fuel is being sold across the state.
Speaking as a guest on SBS Radio, Oloje-Ilorin, on Channel 96.9 FM this afternoon, Hon. Omotose, who is also a member of the state PDP campaign team, stated that the legislature, as the first arm of the government, because they make the law, is the engine room of democracy. According to him “the state legislature has the mandate to get involved on any issue that happens within the state. Infact, sections 128 and 129 of the 1999 constitution, gives the state legislature, the leverage to look critically at problems that afflict the people and resolve it”
He lamented that fuel scarcity has become a national malaise since the era of the military. “But when it resurrected when we were in KWHA between 2003-2011, the Committee on Commerce was designated to address it instantly. This was after we had deliberated upon it on the floor. The committee which had Hon. Prince Razaq Taiwo and Hon. Ramat Adeshina-Abaya as the Chairman, within this period, travelled far and wide to evolve solutions, in line with the resolution of the entire House”
He stated that the committee travelled to the Mosimi national petrol centre, in Ogun State which feeds the NNPC Depot in Ilorin to meet the management. From that point they were informed of how much fuel, and at what time that they pump into the Ilorin Depot. When the Ilorin Depot Manager complained about the hitches that impeded the entry and distribution of fuel, “we took a resolution on that, forwarded it to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the GMD of NNPC. And we followed it up”.
The problem was fixed, fuel started to flow. And the House was heavily supported by Governor Bukola Saraki as the Chief Security Officer of the state. Security personnel were attached to accompany trucks to each petrol station in all parts of the state”.
Furthermore, the House ensured that the volume of petroleum products that were received were broadcast on Radio Kwara everyday”. This made it impossible for fuel station managers and owners to divert the products, that were allocated to each station everyday.
Through these measures, the price of fuel in all parts of the state were the same and it was stable. Unfortunately today, while some petrol stations like Bovas sell at the normal price, others sell it between 250-370. Infact, it is so bad that at Chikanda and Yashikira in Baruten local government, last week, it was sold at #470.
“More importantly, during our time, diesel, kerosene and other derivatives of petrol were also available throughout the state”. This was because during our time, NNPC Depot was functional and efficient. But it has ceased operations today. One can just imagine the number of people that have lost their means of livelihood”.
We made sure that we monitor the sale and other fuel operations within the state. Under section 129, we have the constitutional power to exert appropriate sanctions under our quasi-judicial functions. And we used it well, to ensure compliance.
He therefore called on the electorates to elect Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as President; Alhaji Shuaib Yaman Abdulahi, as Governor and all the candidates of PDP into the legislative and executive arms of government, at both the national and state levels at the forthcoming elections.