The Federal Government is working to address the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
He said that government is also working to address the challenges of epileptic electricity supply and inflation reducing the purchasing power of Nigerians.
The minister made the remark on Wednesday in Abuja when he paid a visit to the Corporate Headquarters of Daily Trust Newspapers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visit was to engage the media on the policies and programmes of the Federal Government and get feedback on how people perceived those policies and programmes.
Mohammed said that the Federal Government was aware of the hardship these challenges posed to the people and urged them not to lose confidence in the administration President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This government is aware of the hardship, difficulties that people of this country are facing. We are not immune to it. We sincerely sympathise with the people.
“We know that this hardship is caused by the fuel crisis, challenges in the power sector and inflation which we are trying to rectify,’’ he said.
He said that the government had increased the supply of the petrol to five major cities: Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Kaduna to end the lingering scarcity.
He said that officials of NNPC had intensified their supervision of filling stations to ensure that no station hoarded petrol or sold the product beyond the official price.
He warned that strict penalties which include sealing of filling station, revocation of licence and selling petrol free of charge would be meted out to erring filling stations.
The minister, who said the “Change Agenda’’ of the current administration was real, urged Nigerians not to doubt the change mantra.
The Federal Government, the minister declared, was determined to implement the 2016 budget to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“This administration intends to revisit and resume abandoned projects especially on infrastructure to reflate the economy.’’
He said that N500 billion had been earmarked for social intervention programme to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
He said that the federal government would provide employment to 500,000 graduates to be trained as teachers.
Mohammed said that government had recorded successes in the fight against insurgency and corruption.
He commended Nigerians for taking ownership of the war to ensure the survival of their country.
Responding the Editor in Chief of the Daily Trust Newspaper, Manir Dan-Ali, said the minister’s visit would enable the media get clear picture and better understanding of government’s policies and programmes.