President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday apologised to Nigerians for the inconvenience caused by the prolonged shortage of petroleum products.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he said his administration had successfully averted such a problem in its seven years in office.
The statement reads in part; “I deeply regret the inconvenience caused Nigerians, following a prolonged shortage of petroleum products, something that our administration has successfully averted in our seven years in office.
“This administration knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way.
“I especially apologize to all sections of society for this.
“The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed upon earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity.
“Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), 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 available and 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.
“I have received information that some people are not behaving properly at the depots and among owners of petrol stations, and in this regard, I have directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the NNPC and the entire security apparatus of the nation to take strong action against those responsible.
“On the issue of electricity blackouts being experienced across the nation, 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 these stations, to guarantee sufficient power flows into the national grid.
“We have identified the main challenge as being one of low gas-power generation as a result of sabotage of gas pipelines, leading to the shutdown of power plants. This in addition to ongoing routine maintenance on other gas power plants.
“Actions have since been agreed upon between the players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), and also the NNPC, with a target of recovering over 1000MW.
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“So far, the restoration to the grid of 375MW has been achieved, following successful repairs to a critical pipeline.
“I am pleased to add that a USD 50 Million Gas Supply agreement is being finalized to secure the availability and sustainability of up to 800MW of underutilized National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) capacity.
“I have no doubt that all of these efforts and solutions will bear fruit very soon.”
March 16, 2022
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