Fuel Scarcity: Queues In Abuja, Lagos To End This Week, Kachikwu Insists

FUEL SCARCITY

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday promised that fuel queues witnessed in Abuja and Lagos will be over this week.

He projected that the queues in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Port Harcourt and other states will ease off subsequently.

The minister also hinted of a price adjustment next month.

Mr. Kachikwu, who was speaking with officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in Abuja, said that the ministry will take the right decisions however hard they might be, adding that government will prevent the return of the subsidy regime.

He said: “Today, we have the fuel queues and it is completely a nightmare for me. The reality is that I am hurt. I am very emotional about my job and there isn’t still much. We just need to take the right policies as hard as they are and as difficult as they are to ensure we do not return to the policy of subsidy.

“And hopefully, tomorrow /Thursday, the fuel queues in Abuja must be over and thereafter Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Port Harcourt and other states”.

He added that there is price modulation that made government to save a lot of money in the first quarter, which it will now use to fund the present excess.

“In May, there will be a slight adjustment to match the current trend”.

The minister noted that his major worry was not only ending the present lingering fuel scarcity across the country but how to avoid a re-occurrence.

According to him, the Federal Government needs to build strategic fuel reserves that it has not done in the last 20 years so that the country will be able to respond to fuel shortage for six to nine days.

“We need to find the allocation of the resources to be able to complement the majors to be able to bring in products.

But that is not a futuristic long term solution and there is no better way than to steer to the path of privatization. And it is not necessarily synonymous to increase in price”, Mr. Kachikwu said.

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