President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday apologised to Nigerians over the long queues being experienced at petrol stations across the country.
The president made the apology while presenting the 2016 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said government was making efforts to bring an end to the shortages.
“Government profoundly apologises to Nigerians for this prolonged hardship and misery.
“It is as a result of market speculators and resistance to change by some stakeholders.
“Government is working very hard to end these shortages and to bring fuel to the pumps all over the country,’’ he said.
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been directed to explore alternative funding models to enable government honour its obligations in Joint Ventures (JVs) and deep offshore fields.
The president expressed optimism that the measures could be achieved and would lower the burden that the traditional cash calls had imposed on the budget.
He further said it would reduce the burden on cash flows as well as contribute towards shoring up the country’s national reserves.
He said his administration would not lose focus on the need to restructure the oil and gas sector which had been marred by corruption and inefficiency.
According to him, he has directed the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to adjust its pricing template to reflect competitive and market driven components.
“We believe this can lower input costs and attain efficiency savings that will enable PPPRA to keep the selling price for all marketers of petrol at N87 per litre for now,’’ he said.
Oil-related revenues are expected to contribute N820 billion in the just presented 2016 budget.