Fuel scarcity will soon end, says Kachikwu
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the Federal Government will ensure that fuel scarcity comes to an end in the new year as two of the nation’s refineries are now back on production.
Kachikwu who visited the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) on facility tour commended the management for ensuring that the plant was back on stream and producing 1.5 million litres daily, pointing out that by next week the production level would have hit two million litres.
According to the minister: “I am just coming from the Port Harcout refinery. The plant will soon be ready for production, and hopefully, by January the refinery will be producing and most of the problems we are experiencing today will be a thing of the past.
“We also believe that all the congestion in Lagos will be over by the time these two refineries are working to expected capacities”.
The minister who also spoke on the issue of fuel subsidy, argued that he would not like to be involved in the controversy, saying: “That is why I have kept away from the use of the word ‘subsidy’.
“That is why I have gone the way of ‘price modulation’, how to look at comfortable price to reflect market dynamics.
So, I don’t want to be involved in this controversy of subsidy or no subsidy and whether it is provided in next year’s budget or not. What is critical is two fold: the amount we spent in the past providing monetary subsidy is huge without accounting for it and the amount of corruption involved in it which we have not been able to track.
The reliability and affordability of that is an issue. So, we need to get away from it whether we call it subsidy in that area or not. We need to get away from it. We want to see some level of modulation where prices relate to what people buy and the dynamics of the market. Our commitment now is to provide the product all the time so that there is efficiency. “
Kachikwu also said that the Federal Government was already working on the challenges the KRPC was having in retooling the plant to a modern standard, saying that experts will be called to study the plant and upgrade it.
In this way, he said that the refinery will be able to produce optimally in the years ahead.
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