In what can best be described as a rare move, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari offered apologies to his countrymen over some recent economic issues centering on fuel scarcity and power grid failures.
In a lengthy, seemingly heart-felt statement issued via Twitter yesterday, the Nigerian leader said he “deeply regret the inconvenience caused Nigerians, following a prolonged shortage of petroleum products…”
His apology follows a weeks-long fuel scarcity crisis that has plagued the country, causing long queues at filling stations and affecting many households and small businesses; many of whom rely on petroleum products to generate their own electricity.
Earlier this week, a nation-wide grid failure exacerbated the energy crisis. Power distribution companies in the West African country issued statements intimating customers about the “total system collapse” and promising that the situation was being monitored to determine its cause in order to proffer solution.
It is on the backdrop of these two major problems that President Muhammadu Buhari issued his apologies and made his promises. In his lengthy statement to the nation, he noted that his administration was aware that “the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses.”
He apologised to every Nigerian for the inconvenience and then promised that his government was working hard to address the issue soonest. He said:
“I especially apologise to all sections of society for this. The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed upon earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity.
“Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), this plan is now bearing fruit.
“Sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states, with the queues at filling stations falling. In the coming days, we expect this to be the case across the rest of the country”
With regards to the power grid failures, the President explained that it was caused by a drastic decline in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressure, technical and supply problems at the country’s thermal stations. He also disclosed that another major cause of the grid failures was low gas power generation due to vandalisation of gas pipelines.
These challenges notwithstanding, President Muhammadu Buhari promised that efforts are underway to resolve the problem and resolve electricity to Nigerians.
President Buhari’s apology is rare because he seldom apologises. However, it’s obvious that Nigerians can do with some reassurance right now because many of them are going through very tough economic times. Asides the energy problems discussed above, food scarcity is also on the rise, with inflation rate up at 15.7%.