Posted by Amechi Obiakpu | 4 March 2015 | 2,672 times
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the Federal Government is working very hard to end the long fuel queues which have appeared in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country.
Speaking yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala said all efforts are being made to improve the fuel situation. She emphasised that the queues are not caused by payment issues as speculated.
The minister said: “I want to emphasise that contrary to some unfounded speculations, the queues are not caused by payment issues. As you know, we paid the marketers a total of N320.8 billion from the Excess Crude account in two installments in December last year. This underscores the fact that we are taking payment of marketers very seriously indeed. We have been in constant touch and talking with the marketers and a week ago we reached an agreement with them on their core concerns which we have addressed.”
Okonjo-Iweala observed that the Federal Government reached an agreement with the marketers union on the N185 billion balance of their payment, as part of this agreement, government is paying not only the costs the marketers have incurred and their fees but also interest and forex differentials.
“To end this unfortunate situation as quickly as possible, the Petroleum Ministry and NNPC are taking strong action to improve supplies in this election season. I’ve been speaking with MOMAN and they’ve assured me that they are working hard to increase supplies and more are on the way,” she said.
The minister stated that government was very concerned about the fuel queues. According to her, “Nigerians can attest that the Petroleum Ministry and NNPC have worked very hard to reduce them to the barest minimum.
“We sympathise with Nigerians whose lives are being disrupted by the queues and assure them that we are working hard to end them as quickly as possible.
“The situation is due to a mix of factors including disruption of pipelines and logistical issues and they are being attended to urgently.”
•Photo shows Okonjo-Iweala.
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