The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that the lingering fuel scarcity would last till the end of May 2016.
The Minister, who is also the the Group Managing Director, GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) said he cannot perform magic to make the queues disappear overnight.
He stated this on Wednesday, March 23, while answering questions from State House Correspondents after leading officials of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Kachikwu pointed that for the stations to still be getting volume of products they dispense to the public is “magic” in the first place, giving prevailing circumstances at NNPC.
“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 percent importer of products to basically a 100 percent importer. And the 445 barrels that were allocated was to cover between 50 and 55 percent importation,” the minister said.
“So, it is quite frankly sheer magic that we even have the amount of products at the stations. We are looking to see how to get foreign exchange imput. 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.”
The minister further said that when the refineries come on full stream, locally refined products will be left unsold in the reservoir to boost supply and availability of the products.
He assured that the government is working on beefing up the reserves, as a lasting solution to fuel scarcity across the country.
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