President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday apologised to Nigerians for the inconvenience caused by the prolonged shortage of petroleum products due to the national grid collapse.
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 administration knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way. I specially apologise to all sections of the society for this,” said the President.
“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 (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 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.”
The President revealed that he has received information that some people were not behaving properly at the depots, and among owners of petrol stations.
In this regard, he directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the entire security apparatus of the nation to take strong action against those responsible.
President Buhari also spoke about the issue of power outages witnessed recently in various parts of the country.
“The blackouts seen in the national grid are also being addressed,” he assured Nigerians. “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.”