By Abdul Tukur
The Nigerian President has addressed the issue of fuel scarcity in his new year broadcast to the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who spoke to citizens at 7am this morning, said he was “saddened to acknowledge that for many this Christmas and New Year holidays have been anything but merry and happy.”
He said: “Instead of showing love, companionship and charity, some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.”
“The consquence was that not many could travel and the few who did had to pay exorbitant transport fares,” the President noted.
“This is unacceptable given that NNPC had taken measures to ensure availability at all depots. I am determined to get to the root of this collective blackmail of all a Nigerians and ensure that whichever groups are behind this manipulated hardship will be prevented from doing so again.
“Such unpatriotism will not divert the administration from the course we have set ourselves. Our government’s watch word and policy thrust is CHANGE. We must change our way of doing things or we will stagnate and be left behind in the race to lift our people out of poverty and into prosperity.”
President Buhari also praised the government over its agriculture policy. “I am highly gratified that agriculture has picked up, contributing to the government’s effort to re-structure the economy,” he said.
“Rice imports will stop this year. Local rice, fresher and more nurrious will be on our dishes fro now on.”