Oborevwori: Functional Refineries Can Solve Nigeria’s Forex Crisis

Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, has said making refineries in Nigeria work again would save the nation foreign exchange for fuel importation.

 Oborevwori, stated this when he received the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Turnaround Maintenance of Nigerian Refineries led by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah at Government House, Asaba.

The governor said when the nation stops importation of petroleum products there would be less pressure on the forex market and urged the federal government to expedite action on revitalising the nation’s refineries.

He said: “I am happy that you people are here today.  I can see some of my good friends that we served together as Speakers.

“I have the full confidence that this Ad-hoc committee will do a very good job. I want to say it here that this assignment is not a jamboree; it is an assignment with seriousness and I believe that with your oversight function, the right thing is done, that our refineries are put in place.

“When this is done, the issue of fuel importation will be a thing of the past because it is causing us a lot and we are having challenges with forex.

“So if our refineries are working and things are going very well, it will also boost the economy of this country.

“I want to assure you of our support in Delta State. Any support you need to aid your oversight work, we are going to give you in Delta.”

Earlier, Senator Ubah said the Ad-hoc Committee was in the state on oversight function to turnaround the nation’s refineries.

“We are here to look into the rehabilitation of our refineries, the issues surrounding crude oil theft, how we can maximise the output of our country’s crude oil and also how we can support issues that have to do with upstream, downstream, Niger Delta affairs and host communities of Niger Delta.

“So it is a holistic committee. As a tradition of the Senate, we felt that we must come to pay homage to you the Executive Governor.  We were with the Governor of Rivers state few days ago and we are glad that you gave us the opportunity to come and see you.”

In an interview with journalists, Ubah assured that the nation’s refineries would come on stream before the end of the year.

“For me to make that statement that the refineries will be up and running before the end of this year, you need to know my background. If I do not have that background, I would not say what I am not sure of.

“So, we will continue to give them close monitoring to make sure that all i’s are dotted and all t’s crossed. I am sure that by the grace of God, the ‘Renewed Hope’ of Mr. President is not something that you can just take away for a mere talk. It is working”, he said.

On oil theft, Ubah said, “we are going to set up a public hearing, the portal will be opened next week and we will have our inaugural launch in Rivers state; from there we will come to Delta state and visit all the states in the Niger Delta.

“It is only when you get close to the people, their locality that they can tell you what is happening and you will know how to cure it. So that is one of our responsibilities in our committee.”

On the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Ubah said: “It’s a bit of it that is not being implemented and we are also going through that to make sure that we get it working.

“It is not an easy thing. You know the culture and you know what we Nigerians are. Sooner rather than later, you will start seeing the work.”

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