Fix Nigeria Refineries Before Removal of Subsidy, Onuesoke Urges FG

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Chairman of DAS Energy Services Ltd, Udu near Warri, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has appealed to the federal government to ensure that local refineries are functional before implementing the planned deregulation of the petroleum sector.

Onuesoke, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, Delta State, yesterday while reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari-led government intention to remove fuel subsidy before handing over to the incoming government, noted that with the current economic situation in the country, removal of fuel subsidy will cause more hardship for Nigerians especially the common man if the refineries were not fixed.

He argued that it will be uncharitable in 2023 for any government to be talking about subsidy or no subsidy for a product that is naturally and thoroughly well endowed in Nigeria.

The former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, explained that if the refineries are working, Nigerians can refine the crude oil within as it is being done in other oil producing countries instead of importation of the product.

He wondered how Nigeria would have surplus crude oil and still be starved of the product.

The PDP chieftain noted that removing the subsidy by President Buhari would create more hardship for Nigerians and challenges for the incoming administration, just as he advised that instead of pushing for subsidy removal, getting the refineries working should be the focus of the government.

He recalled that the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government fought Goodluck Jonathan’s government because of planned removal of fuel subsidy, then adding that it was amazing that after ruling for eight years they could not remove it.

He added that rather they are stylishly pushing the problem to the incoming government.

“The present government fought Goodluck Jonathan when he was in office because of fuel subsidy removal. It is rather amazing that they ruled for a whole eight years without removing it. They described it as a scam. It is now they are about to leave. They are saying they should remove it by June.

“Why is it now that you are leaving? Why are you leaving the problem for incoming government? Right now, they are leaving the refineries dead. Even the working refineries they met eight years ago are all dead. You met four refineries working before you came in. They are dead today and you are talking about removal of fuel subsidy,” he observed.

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