President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regrets over the inconvenience being experienced by citizens due to a prolonged shortage of petroleum products and electricity supply.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, he said his administration had successfully averted fuel shortage in its seven years in office.
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Buhari said: “The administration knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way. I specially apologize to all sections of the society for this.
“The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity.
“Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, this plan is now bearing fruit. Sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states, with the queues at stations falling. In the coming days, we expect this to be the case across the rest of the country.
“Looking to the longer term, funds are being targeted toward keeping fuel availability affordable for the country. The international energy markets have surged drastically in recent months, the government will however ensure that consumers are protected against these price spikes.”
He said he had received information that some people were not behaving properly at the depots and among owners of petrol stations and in this regard.
He said he had directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the NNPC and the entire security apparatus to take strong action against those responsible.
Buhari said the “blackouts seen in the national grid are also being addressed. A dip in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressures has coincided with technical and supply problems at thermal stations. On this, the government is also working tirelessly to resolve the issues at the latter to guarantee sufficient power flows into the national grid.”
He said to ramp up the under-utilised capacity of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s capacity, a $50m gas supply agreement was being finalized to secure the sustainability of up to 800MW of underutilized NIPP assets.
Buhari assured that government’s attention to these problems would bear fruits very soon.