The federal government
said that Nigerians, especially residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some other cities, may continue to witness fuel queues until there is complete deregulation of gasoline.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva said this during a briefing to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, over the weekend, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister also said that the council had approved the award and procurement for the provision of a conference hostel in Yenagoa, adjacent to the N22 billion Nigerian content towers to Megastar Technical Construction Company, with a period of completion of 24 months.
Responding to questions about the persistent queues of fuel in Abuja and other parts of the country, the Minister said the situation, especially in the FCT, would persist for some time until the fuel is gone. eventually deregulated.
He explained that the fuel queues were not caused by fuel supply shortages but by oil traders’ reluctance to sell at the recommended retail price.
According to him, there are queues in Abuja because selling at the recommended price of N165/litre of fuel is not profitable for traders, who have decided to take advantage of this by diverting produce from the city center to places where they might sell above the recommended retail price.
“If you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja. In most places, it is only in metropolitan Abuja that you continue to have these queues. So it’s like there is less supply in Abuja than in the rest of the country.
“It’s not so. It’s because if you go out of Abuja, they can probably afford to sell at higher prices. And I’m sure many of you have to buy at higher prices “said the minister.
Giving updates on the rehabilitation of the country’s refineries, Sylva said the Port-Harcourt refinery would soon become operational, adding that the Dangote refinery would start operating in January next year.
“Thus, these problems will gradually be resolved and we will come to the point where Nigeria will be fully supplied from the country’s refined products,” he said.
On why workers at Kaduna and Warri Refineries were still receiving wages, even when they were not producing anything, the Minister explained that most of the workers had been redeployed, with a few others performing skeletal services to prevent theft in the facilities.
Commenting on the high cost of gas (diesel), the Minister said that this was because the product had been deregulated.
“But, of course, you know that the geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Russia are still present and they really affect the world prices of this raw material.
”So it’s not really a Nigeria thing. This is something that affects the global community; everywhere in the world has the same problem.
“If you go to the UK, they still talk about inflation; if you go to America, they talk about inflation, because there are problems and everything comes from geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Russia,” he said.
For his part, Environment Minister Muhammed Abdullahi said the Council awarded the contract for consultancy services and the design of a Center of Excellence for Environmental Restoration with a management center integrated contaminated soil for the sum of N449,250,040.50 (VAT included).
He explained that the center was in fulfillment of the President’s promise to the Ogoni people and was meant to impact them in terms of job creation and laboratory testing for land remediation efforts at the site. contaminated, so that it can be easily cultivated by people for their fisheries, agricultural activities and access to water.