From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has concluded plans to crash the price of petroleum products in the country through local refining.
This was contained in a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang.
Enang said the FG decided to integrate local (illegal) refiners into the mainstream refining in the country, adding that that would be formalized during the National conference on artisanal and modular refining which would come up on March 15-17, 2021 in Abuja.
In addition, Enang recalled how Nigerians in the Southeast locally produced and refined petroleum during the civil war. He stated that such capacity is still there.
His statement reads, “We need to agree with those in the creek on how to legalise their business because of the danger the current practice is posing to the environment and the economy of the country.
“Therefore, the Federal Government will on March 15th- 17th hold a National Conference on Artisanal and Modular Refining to integrate local refiners into the mainstream refining in Nigeria. It is more necessary to do in-country refining to avoid certain duties and charges connected with importation of Petroleum products.
“At the conference, persons who have different capacities to do different things would come, even the illegal refiners would also come, and teach us how they do it and if they can improve upon it by giving them the equipment that does the cracking, we are good to go. We are encouraged to do this because during the Nigeria civil war that lasted for 30 months, Biafra was cut off from the entire world, they never imported petroleum products, they were producing and refining locally and that capacity is still there.
“With this step, it would be possible to have the products at less than N100 per liter, because other charges relating to clearing the cargo would not be there.”
Recall The New Diplomat had earlier reported how anxiety gripped Nigerians as fuel scarcity hit Lagos, Abuja and other major cities in the country over the weekend despite there has been no official increase in the ex-dopt price of PMS.
The scarcity has been attributed to inadequate supply of the essential commodity to fuel stations.