Refineries would come alive next year — FG

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The Federal Government said on Wednesday that all the nation’s refineries would come alive again next year. This is as the FG also pledged that the ordeals of Nigerians on account of lingering fuel scarcity would end next week.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“As at today we are delivering about 1,200 trucks, by weekend we should be delivering same number of trucks, it will take a bit of days to even ease out but you can see improvement already.

“I hope by the end of next week with the refineries helping us to stay on course, every part of the country will get fuel,” he declared.

It would be recalled that the minister had set target dates previously to end the perennial scarcity in the country but the issue seems to have defied all logics.

According to the minister also, vandalism of national assets in the country was contributing to the present economic hardship, urging that Nigerians should be keepers of the nation’s assets.

Also speaking at the press briefing, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola stated that the power drop being experienced in the country presently was occasioned by the vandalism that occurred at the Forcado gas platform in Warri, Delta State.

He announced that power generation had dropped from 5000mw to about 3000mw, saying that the problem had been compounded by the drop.

He said: “Is a ministry of ‎petroleum issue, they are keeping us in the loop about all of these and when all of these will be restored to normal service

“As a result of this‎ our power production has dropped from 5,000 megawatt to about 3,000, 3,200 megawatt depending on other collateral problems. What was not enough at 5,000 is even now much more difficult to share at 3,000.We are having increasing success with some of our transmission projects, so areas in the country that did not have power supply when we were at 5,000 now have transmission restored.

“Places like Maiduguri, Okada, Makurdi transmission ‎projects have been completed. They are now benefiting from what was difficult to share initially.

So‎ it is a mixed blessing in some places. We understand that people are going through difficult times, so it is a bad time to have energy crisis and there is no good time to have one. But like we briefed council, it is a temporary thing, we will go back to normal service when gas is fully restored.

“We are working to make sure that should this happen again in future we will be in a better position to respond by increasing the opportunities for local gas allocation and local gas production from the non associated lines.

“And we are confident we can meet the target of 10,000 megawatt set by Mr. President by 2019.

This is a teething problem, it won’t last for long, our determination to overcome it is bigger than the problem and I’m very sure it will be overcome.”

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu while also answering a question at the briefing disclosed that negotiation had not started on the fine imposed by the federal government on MTN for defaulting on SIM registration after the matter was withdrawn from court.

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