It’s a shame our refineries are not producing fuel -Onuesoke

…While government celebrates private refinery

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has said that it was a shame that despite Nigeria having four refineries controlled by Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, none of them was producing fuel either for internal consumption or export.

The former Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, noted that while the Federal Government was celebrating the take off a private refinery, where it is expected to save $10billion from importation of oil, its four refineries were not working.

Reacting to call by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, who expressed the same concern, he urged the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to work towards revitalising the nation’s refineries, insisting that Nigeria has no reason to import petrol with its cost implications on the economy.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State

Oborevwori, who spoke when he received the National Executive Committee of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, led by the National President, Williams Akporeha at Government House, Asaba argued that there was no justification for an oil producing nation with four refineries to resort to fuel importation for its local consumption.

Reacting to Oborevwori’s call, while addressing newsmen in Asaba, Ouesoke said he was solidly in support of the governor’s demand, stressing that it make no sense for Nigeria to import fuel when the country has abundant crude oil and four refineries that were lying fallow.

He argued that Nigeria has four refineries and none was refining crude oil, adding that Federal Government still pays a huge sum on importing finished oil products.

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He said: “Before the coming of this new government, I did advised that with the current economic situation in the country, removal of fuel subsidy would cause more hardship for Nigerians, especially the common man, if the refineries are not fixed.

“My advise was ignored. Now look at the economic mess the removal of the subsidy without fixing the refineries has put the nation.”

Wondering how Nigeria would have surplus crude oil and still being starved of the product, the PDP chieftain explained that if the refineries were working, Nigerians can refine the crude oil within as it was being done in other oil-producing countries and get it cheaper instead of importation of the product at inflated price.

Onuesoke recalled that the All Progressives Congress, APC, fought former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government because of the planned removal of fuel subsidy then.

He noted that it was amazing that after ruling for over eight years, the APC government decided to remove the subsidy without putting the normal thing in place by revitalizing the refineries so as to ameliorate the impact of the removal it will have on the masses.

“A lot of things have been happening. For years, our refineries have been down and nobody talks about how we can put our refineries to use, instead, we are importing petroleum products.

“This is also biting on the economy of this country. Look at the prices of things which have gone up because we are not producing. If we were producing, we won’t have these challenges,” he added.

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