The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, apologized to millions of Nigerians on Monday over his comment that he was “not a magician” and could not end the fuel scarcity.
Dr. Kachikwu made the retraction at a meeting with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream at the National Assembly in Abuja. He said that he regretted making his “magician” comment and that it was not meant to insult Nigerians.
"I do apologize for the comment that I made jocularly with my friends in the press about being a magician. It was not meant to offend Nigerians. I did not know that it would create the kind of hyperbole that it did. Let me first admit that I am not a typically experienced politician, I am a technocrat. Some of the phraseologies that I may use, while being acceptable in the arena in which I play, obviously will not be acceptable in the public political arena. So if anybody’s sensibilities were offended by my comment, I totally apologize."
Dr. Kachikwu said that he is working on a holistic and permanent approach to end the incessant fuel shortage in the country. He therefore assured Nigerians that the lines across the country would end by the first or second week of April, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is doing everything possible to ensure fuel availability.
He disclosed that the NNPC is working toward computerization of the structure, which would allow them to track the distribution of fuel from their depot to the filling stations. Dr. Kachikwu maintained that the structural deficiency that he inherited is being cleaned up gradually to pave the way for efficiency. He also stated that he will not be resigning from his position and will continue working to improve Nigeria’s fuel infrastructure.