24 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari, on Christmas eve, has sympathised with Nigerians on the lingering fuel scarcity, three weeks after filling stations started grappling with shortages.
In a statement posted on his Twitter page on Sunday, the President said he was receiving regular briefings from the officials of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), even as he urged regulatory agencies to step up surveillance of petroleum distribution and bring an end to hoarding by marketers.
He said, “The fuel scarcity being experienced nationwide is regrettable. I sympathize with all Nigerians on having to endure needless fuel queues.
“I’m being regularly briefed, especially on the NNPC’s interventions to ensure that there is enough petrol available during this period & beyond,” the president said on Twitter.
Mr. Buhari said he has directed the NNPC to do something about the crisis, which has left Nigerians stranded and sent prices of commodities through the roof.
“I have the NNPC’s assurance that the situation will improve significantly over the next few days, as new shipments and supplies are distributed across the country.
“I have also directed the regulators to step up their surveillance and bring an end to hoarding and price inflation by marketers.
“Let me also assure that the relevant agencies will continue to provide updates on the situation. I thank you all for your patience and understanding,” he said.
The president has been criticised by opposition party politicians for failing to address the crisis on time.
He was advised to relinquish his position as minister for petroleum by a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili on Saturday.
Mrs. Ezekwesili said the president handing the ministry to a separate official will help reduce the political influence over it. She said full deregulation would be a lasting solution to the protracted crisis.