Minister of Information and Culture has said the government is aware that Nigerians are now doubting its change agenda and assured that the Buhari administration is working around the clock to provide relief for the citizenry.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed
In a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the government is aware that Nigerians are now doubting its change agenda, and assured that the Buhari administration is ‘working around the clock to provide relief for the citizenry.’
Speaking through his special adviser, the APC chieftain said, “As a government that was propelled into office by the power of the people, we cannot but feel the pains of our compatriots, and we deeply empathise with them.
“Our message to our compatriots is that this administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is working round the clock to ease the pains of Nigerians, and that very soon, the efforts of the government will begin to yield fruits for the benefit of Nigerians.
“We understand the skepticism of Nigerians in questioning whether this indeed is the change they voted for. I can tell Nigerians that our change agenda is real, and that indeed Nigerians will get the change they voted for.”
The minister who spoke on the scarcity of petrol in the country, said that immediate measures were being taken to end the situation just as medium and long-term solutions were being worked out to prevent a recurrence.
“Petroleum supply and distribution have been ramped up across the country by the NNPC to ensure product availability in the country, but repeated trips to filling stations and the backlog are making it impossible to immediately feel the impact.
“Monitoring has also been intensified to ensure full compliance with approved prices. Violations of approved prices and hoarding of petroleum products attract severe penalties, including giving out of petroleum products free to the public, sealing off of fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products, payment of fine as well as withdrawal of marketer’s license.”
The minister said that in the medium term, the supply constraints owing to foreign exchange challenges were being resolved through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria on innovative ways of closing the gaps in accessing foreign exchange.
He also announced the willingness of the international upstream oil companies to support major oil marketing companies with some of the required foreign exchange, thus complementing the efforts of the NNPC, which has been solely importing the refined products.
“The ultimate is to ensure self-sufficiency in refined products supply by ramping up our local Refining capacity. All local refineries will be made to run at a minimum 70 percent capacity utilisation in the weeks ahead. This is in addition to the initiative of increasing the combined capacity of the domestic refineries through co-locating smaller but cost efficient modular refineries within the existing refineries premises,” the minister said.
Regarding unstable power supply in the country, Lai Mohammed blamed the lack of gas supply to the power generating stations for it. He said the NNPC was seeking alternative sources of gas supply after the attack on the Forcados export pipeline forced the cut off of gas supplies to the stations.
“While we give no excuses for the challenges currently being faced by Nigerians, because they voted for us specifically to address those challenges, we appeal to them to bear with us as we strive to provide the much-needed relief in the days ahead,” he added