The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Kachikwu, has said that the fuel scarcity which has lingered in the country since January may continue for at least another two months.
He made this statement on Wednesday while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers with President Muhammadu Buhari which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, explained that despite the efforts by the Federal Government to eliminate fuel scarcity, fuel queues might remain for a while, since he was not a magician who could make fuel queues disappear with a magic wand.
“One of the trainings I did not receive is that of a magician, but I am working very hard to ensure some of these issues go away. And let’s be honest, for the five, six months we have been here, NNPC has moved from a 50 per cent importer of products to basically a 100 per cent importer. And the 445 barrels that were allocated was to cover between 50 and 55 percent importation,” he said.
“So it’s quite frankly share magic that we even have the amount of products at the stations. We are looking to see how to get foreign exchange input. The president and I discussed extensively on how to get more crude directed at importation.
“His Excellency will rather have less crude but have individuals in the society suffer less with inconveniences than have more crude and have them continue to suffer. So we are going to put a new model to enable us increase the pace and actually get majors as part of the crew of those to bring in more products so that the NNPC will sort of go back on the capacity of what it use to do and the majors will take over the balance of importation,” he added.
He, however, gave the assurance that the fuel scarcity would be completely eliminated within the next two months, as the DSAP programme, which has been put in place for this purpose, will begin in April.
NNPC has also released a statement this morning assuring Nigerians that fuel scarcity will end in the weeks ahead.
See the statement below.