Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has admitted that it is a shame Christmas celebration in Nigeria has so far been characterised by discomfort caused by the lingering fuel scarcity.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday morning quoted the Vice President as speaking during the interactions he had with some people keeping vigil at two filling stations in Lagos.
Osinbajo was said to have made surprise appearances at Oando Filling Station in Lekki and Hayden Petrol Station, Victoria Island.
“It’s such a shame that Christmas has been, to some extent, with this sort of discomfort.
“This is deeply regretted, and l know that, despite the resilience and strength of people in Lagos and the Nigerian people, we would see ourselves through this and will enjoy our Christmas and have a great new year,” he was quoted as telling those who were on queue to buy the scarce commodity.
He said the Federal Government was moving as quickly as it could to solve the fuel crisis and reduce the difficulties Nigerians were facing as a result.
He added, “We are trying to move as quickly as we can. Obviously, people have gone through a lot of pain and anguish in the past few days, and that is deeply regretted.
“We are trying to do what we can to move as quickly as possible and there is certainly enough products to be able to solve the problem.
“We will be able to solve the problem; the short period of scarcity is quite a bit of burden, but we know that so long as products are enough and the trucks coming out and feeding the stations, this will be over very soon.
“I am going around with the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources here in Lagos to ensure that first, the trucks are being loaded from all the depots, and also looking at the filling stations to see that things are moving on very well.
“The GMD of the NNPC is also working in Abuja to see that things are moving quickly and we are moving around the country. So we expect that it will be resolved very quickly.”
Osinbajo later took to his social media accounts to announce that he witnessed firsthand the discomfort Nigerians have been experiencing during his visits to the filling stations.
He assured Nigerians that the government is working hard to end their pains as soon as possible.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated all those concerns to bring an end to the situation.
Osinbajo wrote, “Christmas is a time of cheer, joy, and hope for the coming New Year. Many people would love to be around their families, but regrettably, cannot because of the inadequacies in the fuel supply in different parts of the nation.
“This is something that President Buhari is deeply concerned about, mandating all relevant persons to bring an end to the fuel queues.
“I witnessed first-hand the discomfort that many of us have to contend with. We sympathise with you and we are working assiduously to eliminate this pain in the shortest possible time.
“We regret this inconvenience while assuring you that all hands are on deck to return things to normalcy.
“I do hope that you still find time to reflect on the miracle of Christmas to lift your spirit and that of your family. God bless you and God bless our great nation.”