Saturday, November 28, 2020

Nigerians frown on Federal Government’s plan to import petrol from Niger Republic

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Many Nigerians say they received news of the Federal Government’s MoU on fuel importation from Niger Republic with shock

They noted that the move is a reflection of how bad things have become in the country which is the largest crude oil producer in Africa, and the biggest economy on the continent

Orange FM’s Joseph Ikugbonmire reports that the signing of the MoU climaxes four months of trade talks between President Muhammadu Buhari and his Nigerien counterpart, Muhamadou Issoufou.

Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, which is about 260 kilometre from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day and the country’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000 barrels per day, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 barrels per day mostly for export.

It was in view of this that the Nigerian government took the step to sign the agreement with the aim of getting a sustainable commercial framework to have a pipeline from the Nigerien refinery into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot.

Reacting to the development, Dr Gbenga Abimbola a media lecturer and Dr Busuyi Mekusi another university don expressed disappointment, stressing that it is a shame that past and present governments failed to put the country’s four refineries to optimal use hence the need for something urgent to be done.

The university dons while emphasising that the latest move is an indication of the utter failure of the nation’s economic planning over the years maintained that it may still not bring about reduction in fuel price.

However an entrepreneur, Akinwanle Segun and a public affairs analyst, Anslem Ayegun described the move as a welcome development with the hope that it will reduce the landing cost of

the finished products due to the proximity of the two nations.

All said, several people are of the opinion that if the federal government cannot fix the refineries yet, it should atleast encourage setting up of modular refineries as promised at the beginning of the present administration.

This they say will go a long way to reduce the high cost of buying petroleum products and its attendant hardship to an average Nigerian.