It is Shameful No Refinery is Producing Fuel, Says  Onuesoke

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has said it was a shame that despite Nigeria having four refineries, none of them was producing fuel either for internal consumption or exportation, while at the same time the federal government was celebrating the take-off of a private refinery, where it was expected to save $10 billion from importation of oil.

Reacting to call by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, who expressed the same concern, Onuesoke, urged the federal government and relevant stakeholders to work towards revitalising the nation’s refineries, insisting that Nigeria has no reason to import petrol with its cost implications on the economy.

Addressing newsmen in Asaba over the weekend, Onuesoke said he was in support of the governor’s demand, stressing that it makes no sense for Nigeria to import fuel when the country has abundant crude oil and four refineries that were lying fallow.

He added: “Before the coming of this new government, I did advise that with the current economic situation in the country, removal of fuel subsidy would cause more hardship for Nigerians, especially the common man, if the refineries are not fixed.

“My advice was ignored. Now look at the economic mess the removal of the subsidy without fixing the refineries has put the nation.”

Wondering how Nigeria would have surplus crude oil and still be starved of the product, the PDP chieftain explained that if the refineries were working, Nigerians could refine the crude oil within as it is being done in other oil-producing countries and get it cheaper instead of importation of the product at inflated price.

Onuesoke, recalled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) fought former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government because of the planned removal of fuel subsidy then, adding that it was amazing that after ruling for over eight years, “they decided to remove the subsidy without doing the normal thing first, which was to revitalise the refineries ameliorate the impact of removal would have on the masses.”

“A lot of things have been happening. For years, our refineries have been down and nobody talks about how we can put them to use, instead, we are importing petroleum products.

“This is also biting on the economy of this country. Look at the prices of things which have gone up because we are not producing. If we were producing, we won’t have these challenges,” he added.

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