- Claims investors have shares in foreign refineries
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has faulted the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, over his assurance on the completion date of the Port Harcourt refinery.
Sylva had at a seminar by defence correspondents recently in Abuja said the refinery would be ready before the end of the second quarter of the year.
But the IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State, Joseph Obele, said the assurances of the minister were one too many without result.
Obele said this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Thursday and sent to newsmen.
While noting that it was not the first time the minister was making such a promise, he said it was unfortunate that on each occasion, he had failed to deliver and that he would fail again.
He stated that the Federal Government was not committed to fixing the refineries and seeing them function, adding that Nigeria is the only ‘critical’ member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries without a functional refinery.
The statement read, “The Minister of State for Petroleum did promise Nigerians that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations by December 2022, but he failed.
“Secondly, he said by the first quarter of 2023, he failed. Now, he is saying in the second quarter of 2023, he will definitely fail.
“They are not committed to seeing the refinery functional. They are comfortable importing from the international market because they have shares in those foreign refineries.
“It will take a corrupt-free government to make our refineries functional, then and only the persistent fuel scarcity will be a thing of the past and Nigerians will buy fuel less than N100 per litre.”
Continuing, the state IPMAN Chairman said, “We don’t trust them anymore, so they should stop making promises and continue importing from those foreign refineries owned by their business partners.
“Nigeria is the only critical member of OPEC without a functional refinery, we should be ashamed as a nation.”