Petrol, electricity shortages regrettable, Buhari apologises to Nigerians from London
NEWS DIGEST – President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sincere regrets for the inconvenience caused to citizens of the country, following a prolonged shortages of petroleum products and electricity supply.
In a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday in Abuja, the President believed that the issue of shortage of petroleum products was something that the administration had successfully averted in its seven years in office.
The President who is away in London, UK on medical tourism apologised to Nigerians over the shortages of fuel and electricity across the country, assured that the challenges would soon be over.
He said: ”The administration knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way. I specially apologise to all sections of the society for this.
”The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue.
”An action plan agreed earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity. Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), this plan is now bearing fruit.
”Sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states, with the queues at stations falling. In the coming days, we expect this to be the case across the rest of the country.
“Looking to the longer term, funds are being targeted toward keeping fuel availability affordable for the country.
”The international energy markets have surged drastically in recent months, the government will, however, ensure that consumers are protected against these price spikes.”
The president frowned at the reported cases of sharp practices at the nation’s fuel depots and among owners of petrol stations across the country.
He, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the NNPC and the entire security apparatus of the nation to take strong action against those responsible for such abnormalities.
On the issue of electricity blackouts being experienced across the nation, Mr Buhari remarked that: “The blackouts seen in the national grid are also being addressed. A dip in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressures has coincided with technical and supply problems at thermal stations.
”On this, the government is also working tirelessly to resolve the issues at the latter to guarantee sufficient power flows into the national grid.”
Mr Buhari maintained that already, emergency measures had been put in place following a meeting convened with key stakeholders to address the low power generation in the country.
He stated that the main challenge was identified as being one of low gas power generation as a result of sabotage of gas pipelines leading to shutdown of power plants coupled with ongoing routine maintenance on other gas power plants.
He added that already, actions were agreed upon between the players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI and also NNPC to recover over 1000MW.
According to him, these actions targeted the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP plants, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC and power plants run under NNPC Joint Ventures, Agip and Shell (NAOC and SPDC).
The president disclosed that progress on the key actions had already ensured the restoration to the grid of 375MW after the pipeline from “Okpai 1” was repaired.
”To also ramp up the underutilised capacity of the NDPHC capacity, a USD 50 Million Gas Supply agreement is being finalised to secure the sustainability of up to 800MW of underutilized NIPP assets,” he further revealed.
The president assured that government’s attention to these problems would bear fruits very soon.