ABUJA, Nigeria – President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned actions by some unscrupulous Nigerian business people in jerking up prices to create an economic hardship on ordinary citizens in Nigeria.

He said he was working to block the goals and manipulative actions of interest groups that are causing fuel scarcity across the country.

In a New Year’s broadcast, the Nigerian leader told his fellow Nigerians that he was saddened to acknowledge that for many, holidays have been anything but merry and happy due to the hardship the current fuel scarcity continues to cause.

The Nigerian leader said: “Instead of showing love, companionship, and charity, some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.”

“This is unacceptable, given that NNPC (the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) had taken measures to ensure availability at all depots,” he said.

The president accused fuel dealers of what he described as “this collective blackmail of all Nigerians is wrong and whichever groups are behind this manipulated hardship will be prevented from doing so again.”

The group managing director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, blamed the current petroleum scarcity in the country on the dealers of petroleum products.