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I Will Resign If Nigeria Continues To Import Fuel In 2019 - Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

I Will Resign If Nigeria Continues To Import Fuel In 2019 - Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

One would wonder if this is another campaign strategy for President Buhari come 2019 because as far as many Nigerians are concerned, there has been no infrastructure in place or being put in place that will be capable of refining for the whole country. 

However, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that if fuel importation continues in Nigeria till 2019, he will throw in the towel. Kachikwu stated this during an interview on BBC World Service programme, HardTalk, on Monday, May 22. He promised to deliver on the refineries and said he was committed to also delivering a future for oil for Nigeria. 

In reaction to a question about when the country was going to be self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum, Kachikwu said 2019 is the target. He stressed that the government has put a date to fix the issues within the sector, and working towards the set date. The minister also said that he has been able to get refineries back to produce 7million litres of petroleum product, since he assumed office one-and-half year ago. 

He said: 

“I have delivered on everything since I came to office. First, I took NNPC and moved them into a profit making organization first time in history and reshaped the organization. 

“I removed cash call deficit of over $6bn, negotiated it. Everything that I have promised since coming into office, I have delivered. I will deliver on the refineries and I am committed to that and I will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria.” 

The federal government may have lost over N3.8 trillion to shortfall in oil production in 2016 due to militants’ attacks and oil theft in the Niger Delta. This was disclosed by the minister of petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu in Lagos on Wednesday, May 17, at the Rainoil 20th anniversary lecture. According to the minister, Nigeria lost about 700,000 barrels daily throughout last year, for which at the oil price of $50 per barrel, the country would have lost $35 million (N10.6 billion) daily, amounting to N3.8 trillion. 

According to Naij.com, Kachikwu was represented at the event by the chief operating officer, downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Henry Ikem-Obih. He spoke on the topic: "The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects of the Downstream Sector." 

With regard to refined petroleum products, he noted that due to the rising cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, a number of oil marketers stopped importing the commodity, leaving the NNPC as the major importer of majority of the products. His words: “The environment has since changed. When we did all these, pricing for crude was $25 to $30 per barrel; today, it is in excess of $54, which is fantastic because it means that our revenue stream is improving.’’ 

He also said that products theft and vandalism have continued to destroy value and put NNPC at a disadvantaged competitive position, as a total of 2,620 vandalised points were recorded between January 2016 and January 2017.

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