THE Federal Government said, yesterday, Nigerians, especially residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and some other cities, may continue to witness fuel queues until there was complete deregulation of petrol.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister also said the council approved the award and procurement for provision of a conference hostel facility in Yenagoa, adjacent to the Nigerian Content Towers at N22 billion to Megastar Technical Construction Company, with completion period of 24 months.
Responding to questions on the persistent fuel queues in Abuja and some other parts of the country, the minister said the situation, particularly in the FCT, would persist for a while until fuel was finally deregulated.
He explained that the fuel queues were not caused by shortages in supply of fuel but for the reluctance of petroleum marketers to sell at the recommended retail price.
According to him, there are queues in Abuja because selling at the recommended N165/litre of fuel is unprofitable to marketers, who resolved to take advantage by diverting products from the city centre to where they could sell above the recommended retail price.
He said: “If you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja. In most places, it is only in Abuja metropolis you continue to have these queues. So, it is as though there is less supply to Abuja than to the rest of the country.
“It is not so. It is because if you go out of Abuja, they can afford to probably sell at higher prices. And I’m sure a lot of you must be buying at higher prices