At a time angry Nigerians are trying to forgive the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, for saying he is not a magician and that fuel queues would linger till May, the minister has on Tuesday, April 5, dropped another bombshell.
The Minister who had promised to end fuel queues on Thursday, April 7, after tendering an apology to Nigerians while answering questions before the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), has disclosed that the Federal Government will increase fuel price by next month.
Kachikwu made the announcement when he visited the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, office in Abuja.
The Minister said, “The reality is that in the first three months of doing the price modulation, our over-recovery basically enabled us to save quite a lot of money and that is going to fund the gap that we see in April.
“But for May, obviously, the prices would have to be adjusted to mark the current trends.”
It could be recalled, that during the APC presidential campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum had condemned former President, Goodluck Jonathan, for setting fuel pump price at N97/ liter of which he said its deregulated price was satisfying few money bags at the detriment of the Nigerian people and economy.
Buhari however, promised to ease the sufferings of Nigerians if voted into office by reducing the pump price of petroleum products.
In a statement released on January 13, 2015, Buhari said, “As for PMS (petrol) the only product the government agrees as regulated at N97 per litre, the irony is that it does not even cost much as in the United States, a country that was importing oil from Nigeria until recently.
The former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tamunoemi David-West also said, “I want to assure you that by the time he takes over, petrol will be dispensed at N40 per liter. This is possible and he has the credibility to make it work.
“As military head of state, he dealt with the Federal Executive Council, FEC, with the tenets of democracy. Buhari will build new refineries to make petroleum products available for the masses. No responsible government will allow the masses to suffer.
“He will strengthen the refineries within a year. It is possible as we won’t spend any amount in setting up a green field refinery. We already have a blueprint as we shall use what we have to get what we want,” he added.
Contrary to all the promises made Nigerians are wallowed in a state of helplessness as fuel queues have continued to grind the nation to a halt, as many Nigerians spend hours queuing to buy fuel at an already exorbitant price.