Until Nigeria builds enough refineries to refine its crude oil, the availability petrol and other products will remain intractable and epileptic, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Describing the contuing reliance on imports as a national disgrace, Kachikwu said the Federal Government is working assiduously to revamp the country’s refineries to address the problems of fuel crisis.
Kachikwu spoke on Thursday in Abuja during a one-day public hearing of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), investigating the causes of ongoing fuel scarcity in the country since December 2017.
The minister, who decried the poor state of the refineries over the years, condemned their inability to produce sufficient fuel for the country.
According to him, it is shameful that a country after over 35 years cannot produce sufficient fuel for its citizens.
“I have said that selling crude is a fairly wrong model which is akin to selling our agricultural products in the wrong way and nobody does that anywhere in the world anymore.
“Unless we have operational refineries, there will be no permanent solution to the fuel crisis in the country,’’ Kachikwu said.
He also said that a lot of work was going on to ensure private sector participation in refining crude oil.
“The gearing up of private refineries and the modular refineries will complement the efforts of the government-owned refineries to ensure there is adequate supply of petroleum products in the country,” said the minister.
He said that government had mapped out strategies to ensure availability of petrol which will be sold the at the government-regulated price.