The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has again apologised to Nigerians for the prevailing long queues for petrol, saying “all is being done to address the situation”.
Mr Kachikwu alongside five other ministers rendered account of what had been done in terms of government policies since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration during the second Federal Government Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna State.
Dr. Kachikwu told the gathering that the three refineries in Nigeria were back, working together for the first time in almost a decade.
He, however, pointed out that though the refineries were not working to the capacity he would love to see them, a lot more work still needed to be done to get into the level of performance that he wanted.
“For the first time, we have pipelines delivering crude oil to the refineries both from Brass to Port Harcourt and from Escravos to Warri.
“This is the first time that has happened in eight years.
“For the first time in 20 years, we took the bold audacity to go ahead and try and restructure Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Unless we do that, the issues of transparency, staff morale and direction of policies will never work. We have successfully done that and that took massive amounts of work,” he stressed.
He pointed out that he was doing his best to deal with the fuel crisis, the worst that the nation had experienced in the last decade.
“The reality is that as long as the refineries do not work in absolutely top capacity, as long as we do not have the foreign exchange to bring in the product and the price of crude continues to slide, we will have problems with fuel. You have to apply brain work to it,” he told the gathering.
He urged Nigerians to be patient, as the government puts strategies in place to make petrol available.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, listed efforts that were being made by the current administration to plug leakages and ensure accountability in the use of funds.
“We have put in place several measures to ensure that cost efficiency in management of all classes of revenue.
“The Single Treasury Account is one of these measures,” she said.
According to her, the government has a very robust implementation plan that ensures effective interaction with Ministry Departments Agencies to find out capital projects which resources would be released for, with assurance that the projects would be undertaken.
“We are moving away from giving funds on a quarterly basis for capital projects to verifying what is required, and releasing funds on a project by project basis,” she stated.