Petroleum products’ importation a fraud, must end – Kachikwu
2 March 2017 National
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the importation of petroleum products into the country is a fraud and must be put to an end if the nation is to make progress in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, aside the fact that it is a shame that Nigeria has been importing finished petroleum products over the years despite having abundant oil resources, the system has been opaque for a long period.
He made this known in his ministerial address titled: ‘Reforming and repositioning the oil and gas industry in Nigeria’ at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Kachikwu stated that the government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation must meet its target of ending petroleum products’ importation between 2018 and 2019.
He said, “Importation of petroleum products will have to cease. There’s absolutely no reason why a country with the resources that we have will continue to import petroleum products. It is a shame on this country, it is a fraud on the system and we are going to end it.
“We are committed to the 2018/2019 template, because it is something we have to do. The refineries are not performing to capacity and it is not going to be easy, but we have to end importation of petroleum products.
“If we do that, the downstream will survive; but if we don’t, then by the first quarter of 2020, the Dangote refinery will come on board. And if that happens, it then means we will have scraps in our hands as refineries. Therefore, there’s the urgency of now to end importation.”
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