Works Minister Defends Fuel Subsidy Removal


The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, says part of the benefits that will accrue to Nigerians from the withdrawal of fuel subsidy will be the building of three new refineries.

The minister who spoke at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja on Sunday said this would help Nigeria to process its crude and meet local consumption.

“Nigerians should know that this oil resource has been given to this country over the years have not been properly managed. We have another opportunity to get it right.

“Niger Republic and so many of our neighbouring countries are building refineries around us with the intention to sell to Nigeria and with this deregulation policy one of the major gains will be the building of three new refineries.

“I want Nigerians to know that when these new refineries are completed, we will be a net exporter of petroleum product and prices will begin to come down, just like we are witnessing in the telecommunications sector with the GSM regime.

“That is my message to Nigerians. Let us support government, let us join hands with government because government cannot and will not take any decision with the aim of punishing fellow Nigerians. It is impossible. So, Nigerians should have this at the back of their minds.”

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The minister said the refineries would be located in Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi states.

“The one in Lagos is with the capacity of 200,000 barrels per day, while the ones in Kogi and Bayelsa have the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels per day,” Onolememen said.

He added that what would be produced by these new refineries would complement the production by existing refineries which would all have had their on-going turnaround maintenance completed.

The turnaround maintenance “will bring the production capacity of the existing four refineries to between 90 per cent and 95 per cent.”

Onolememen expressed confidence that the increased level of production would enhance Nigeria’s status as a net exporter of petroleum products.

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