Nigerians expressed disappointment as the NNPC limited revealed that fuel importation would not end until 2024.
This is contrary to the assurance by the Federal government that Fuel importation would end come June 2023 by which Dangote refinery and one of the nation’s refineries would have resumed operations.
In radio programmes monitored by our correspondents across the country, callers expressed disappointment over the news, describing it as a sign of failure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and betrayal of trust.
According to the Minister of state Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt refinery, which he earlier said would be completed by june 2023, would not be partly completed until 2024. The same goes with the 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) capacity Dangote Refinery.
Sylva stated this at the resumption of the”PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)” organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Presenting the scorecard of his ministry, Sylva specifically said that the 60,000 bpd capacity refinery within the Port-Harcourt Refinery complex would be ready for production by Quarter one of 2024.
The Minister added that the Dangote Refinery, the largest single-train refinery in the world with investment of over 25 billion US dollars would also be on stream before the end of 2023 in addition to several modular refineries projects in the country.
He therefore assured that with the combined production of the Port-Harcourt refinery, Dangote refinery and the modular refineries, Nigeria would end importation of petroleum products into the country.
The minister disclosed that to ensure local supply of the productions by the private refineries the federal government deliberately took 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery.
Equally, the minister said the federal government took 30 per cent equity stake in each of the 5000bpd WalterSmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo state and 10,000 bpd Duport Modular Refinery in Edo state among others.
He said that the government is currently addressing the challenge of access to crude oil being faced by the modular refineries.
The minister also reiterated the position of the federal government that subsidy regine was no longer sustainable.
According to him, the huge fund being spent on subsidy could be deployed to other developmental projects that would impact positively on many Nigerians.
He added that the removal of subsidy would attract more investment into the petroleum sector as many private people would be willing to invest in building refineries.
Meanwhile, most presidential candidate contesting for the upcoming election in the country have promised to remove subsidy as soon as they assume office, a move analysts believe would worsen the economic burden of Nigerians, as cost of goods and services would further skyrocket.
It is to avert this that President Buhari’s regime has refused to remove subsidy until June when refineries were expected to go into operation. If what Sylvia is the truth, Nigerians would have to brace up for a harder time, notwithstanding whoever wins the next election.
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