By Eddy Odivwri
Many Nigerians got confused when the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed suddenly dabbled into what seemingly does not concern her. Early in the week, she claimed that the argument that the cost of petrol would have been cheaper if our four refineries were working at full capacity is wrong. She further went to declare that when the Dangote Refinery begins operation next year, that it would not necessarily bring down the cost of petrol because Dangote refinery would be selling at global market rate. I don’t know who sent madam minister to do this hurting PR for Dangote.
What is the essence of that ill news? Is it to tell Nigerians not to hope for a better tomorrow (with or without Dangote refinery), or is it to prepare Dangote to maximally extract the most from Nigerians? Or it is to prove that Buhari’s policies are not hurting us? Whatever the reason, it is an uncalled for and vexatious poke nosing. She does not work for Dangote./ She should not speak for him or his company.
For one, the declaration of the Honourable minister defies economic logic.
Are we not told that the price of petrol now is a function of international price of crude plus all such logistical expenses, better described as “landing cost”?
So Madam, if the Dangote refinery is supplied crude from Escravos or Eket or anywhere in the Niger Delta, has the cost of moving such crude through ocean vessels to abroad, where they are refined not cut off? Or would the cost of freighting finished products back to Nigeria not eliminated? So why won’t Dangote petrol be cheaper? I don’t understand the logic of the Finance Minister. It is like arguing that local rice should be more expensive or the same price with imported rice. As they say on the street, somebody should tell Madam to follow her lane.