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Why Fuel Scarcity In Abuja Still Persist-Sylva

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said that the fuel scarcity in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory may become a situation that residents have to deal with for some time until there is full deregulation of the sector.

Sylva stated while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

While speaking on the fuel scarcity in Abuja, Sylva said, “if you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja, in most places, only in the Abuja, metropolis, you continue to have these queues. So is it that there is less supply to Abuja, than to the rest of the country? It is not so.

“It is because if you go out of Abuja, they can afford to probably sell at higher prices. And I’m sure a lot of you must be buying at higher prices, but within Abuja, because of the watchful eye of the federal government, they cannot sell at those prices.

“So it’s not a very attractive market for them. I think these are all things that we might have to be dealing with for a while until we’re able to fully deregulate, the minister added.

Speaking on the rehabilitation of the refineries, Sylva said the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt was on course, stressing that the refinery would be fully operational by the end of the year.

He said Dangote refinery was expected to be on stream by January next year adding that the issues would gradually be resolved to the point where Nigeria would be fully supplied from in country refined products.

On whether workers Kaduna and Warri refineries were still drawing salaries, Sylva said, “that is a very tricky issue, but you must agree, we are now rehabilitating the refineries. Most of the workers there are being redeployed. Because the refinery is not functioning, you will redeploy the workers to other parts of the business that are functional, but you will not expect to have laid off everybody because you still need to have skeletal services”

“If not, we’ll take everybody out of that place, they will come and pilfer the place. So there are still some skeleton staff there. But I can assure you that most of the workers in the refineries have been redeployed to other parts of NNPC.

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