Nigerians advised to cease panicking over fuel crisis

By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian government has advised its citizens to desist from panic buying at petrol stations in order to reduce long queues currently witnessed across the country.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu gave the advice while briefing members of the Senate committee on petroleum downstream in Abuja.

Apology on comment
Dr. Kachikwu also appealed to Nigerians involved in the hoarding of petroleum products to stop the act, describing it as inimical to the petroleum industry which is the power base of the economy.

He thereafter apologized to Nigerians for recent comments attributed to him in the press.

 “Let me thank the senate for taking time out from your recess to come too dialogue this issue, it shows the importance you attach to the petroleum industry and the feelings of Nigerians. Let me just digress by letting you know that I share the pains of Nigerians, I feel that pain everyday when I walk the streets: on Easter day I was in Lagos monitoring fuel distribution and the depots: I have given 24 hours attention to the problems.

 I have continued to work with one sole purpose which is that every problem must have a solution and I think that is the reason I was picked. I do apologise for the comment that I made jocularly with my friends in the press about being a magician and it offended Nigerians; it was not meant to be, it was a side jocular issue.

 I did go on to explain what needed to be done, I did not know that it would create the kind of hyperbole (exaggeration) that it did. Let me first admit that I am not a typically experienced politician, I am a technocrat: I come to work.

 Some of the phraseologies that I may use, while being acceptable in the arena in which I play obviously will not be acceptable in the public political arena.
So if any body’s sensibilities were offended by those, I totally

Better life for everyone
The Minister of State who expressed worry over pipeline vandalism in the country, called on Nigerians to always report such cases to the security agencies, which usually disrupt the time of delivery of products.

The acting Chairman of the Senate committee on petroleum downstream, Senator Jubrin Barau expressed worry over the current scarcity of fuel in the country.

He assured Nigerians that the meeting with the Minister was not to witch hunt anybody but to ensure that life becomes better for Nigerians.

The interface between the Minister of State for Petroleum and the Senate committee on petroleum downstream was initiated by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as part of ongoing efforts to find lasting solution to the present fuel crisis in the country.

On Monday, the senate committee on petroleum downstream embarked on an assessment tour of petrol stations in the Abuja metropolis to enable them has first hand information about the market situation.