By Michael Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu , yesterday, assured Nigerians that the fuel crisis that appears to be crippling the nation’;s economy would end within the next two days, while he promised to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in addressing the foreign exchange challenges confronting major oil marketers.
Speaking during a tour of petrol stations in Abuja, Kachikwu apologised to Nigerians for the pains brought about by the scarcity, while he stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, deploys 300 truckloads of fuel to Abuja on a daily basis, while supply has also been increased across the country.
He said, “We have enough coming in. Obviously the two days of strike hit us very badly but we are flooding in, getting an average of 300 trucks a day into Abuja; it’s going to take a bit of while for the queues to finish but we are hoping that between the next one-two days we should have the queues all disappear because we are continuing to pump in, while a lot of the stations are open 24 hours a day.
“I apologise to Nigerians for all the pains; nobody wants to see people spend two hours on the fuel queue. The president is very bothered about the sight of people waiting for fuel. “
He said talks had begun with the CBN to help major oil marketers in Nigeria access foreign exchange to import petrol into the country.”
He said, “We are doing everything we can; NNPC is taking the whole nation on its shoulders while majors are really not bringing in product; but we are working long term solutions to majors to now begin to go back to importation lane and be able to service their own outlets rather than us servicing our outlets, independents, majors and servicing everybody; its a lot of wear and tear on our capabilities as a status. “Long term obviously we have got to systemically look at how do you prepare this nation in circumstances where there are emergencies to be able to respond; we are obviously not getting that as well as we should.