Monday, July 27, 2015

Nigeria to Reduce Fuel Imports as Oil Production Resumes in Warri, Kaduna Refineries
Editor | July 27, 2015
Nigerian National Accord

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced the readiness of the Federal Government to reduce its import of refined petroleum products as two of the nation’s refineries in Warri and Kaduna are set to bridge the demand gap in local consumption of the products.

Governor of the apex bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this to newsmen at the bank’s headquarters shortly after its July Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting on Friday, said the resuscitation of the two refineries came as a result of meetings between the CBN, management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government.

He noted that while the Warri Refinery has already commenced production, the Kaduna facility is expected to follow suit shortly.

The new plan comes in the wake of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s reluctance to sustain the fuel subsidy regime, which many believe has enriched few while impoverishing millions of Nigerians.

While failing to state whether the CBN actually injected fresh capital into the two organizations as it did in agriculture, industry and aviation sectors, Emefiele assured that the combined capacities of the two firms would likely reduce the estimated 30 million litres of refined products currently being imported into the country.

According to him, the resumption of production by the refineries would reduce the pressure on both government expenditure and also help the CBN strengthen reserves and build the much needed fiscal buffers.

“We have met with NNPC and Warri Refinery has begun produc­ing fuel. Kaduna will soon begin production and so we are going to see a drastic reduction in the import of premium motor spirit.”

While stressing that it is the mandate of the CBN to build reserve, achieve strong exchange rate and maintain stability, Emefiele asserted that the MPC was guided in taking its decisions by the need to stimulate growth and development in the economy. He pointed out that though some of such decisions may be tough on some stakeholders, they are always taken in the best interest of the economy and the citizens.

The CBN boss, who restated the need for Nigerians to cut some of excesses to ensure the revival of the economy, said: “In the past, we were a leading export of palm produce. Today Nigeria imports almost one million metric tonnes of palm oil. But in the past, we were producing for domestic consumption and for export. And people used the proceeds to send their children to school. We need to return to the basics to begin to create jobs again locally rather than export jobs to other countries”.

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