“FG Should Repair, Sell Refineries To Those Who Can Run Them”-Falae

Former Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Olu Falae believes Nigeria should repair and sell off its refineries, maintaining that the government is incapable of running them.

For decades, Africa’s most populous nation and one of the continent’s largest crude producers has depended on fuel imports to meet local demand because of under-performing state-run refineries  – located in Warri, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna.

But Falae on Thursday called for a different approach.

“My belief is that Nigeria’s problem with fuel and its price will be substantially resolved when we are able to repair and recommission our refineries and sell to companies that know how to run refineries,” the elder statesman said on Channels Television’s Politics Today. 

“We should not try to run them ourselves because if we try to do so, politics will intervene and we will mismanage them. I am sorry to say this,” he said.

Nigeria was swapping crude worth billions of dollars for gasoline that it then subsidised for its domestic market.

It caused a huge drain on foreign exchange at a time of dwindling oil revenue following the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. However, on his inauguration, President Bola Tinubu declared an end to the subsidy regime, a move that tripled the price of the commodity.

But to manage the situation, Falae, who is the Oluabo of Ilu-Abo in Ondo State, maintains the sale of the refineries – which has become a touchy issue in the country –  is the solution.

“So, we repair them and sell them to those who can manage refineries. And then, they will use those refineries to refine Nigerian crude oil and sell them to those of us here in Nigeria. That reduces the influence of the dollar exchange rate substantially,” Falae argued.

“I am almost certain that the day we do that, the price of fuel will come down almost substantially. I do not doubt that.”

He also believes Nigerians should not be buying crude oil at the international market price.

“My position is that crude oil is a natural endowment of Nigeria. God himself has given it to us to help us to stimulate development,” the monarch said on the current affairs show. “So, we should consume it at the cost of production plus a reasonable profit margin for the producers; not at the international market price.”

Culled from Channelstv