Petroleum resources minister of state, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said it is shameful that Nigeria is still importing refined petroleum products.
According to him, the inability of Nigeria to refine crude oil to meet its requirement for petroleum products, is an embarrassment.
The minister, speaking at an investigative public hearing on the ongoing petrol crisis, by the Senate committee on petroleum resources (downstream), said the solution to the crisis is refining of Nigeria’s crude oil locally.
“In what I might call an emergency before the work that we are doing on the refineries that would be finished sometime in 2019,” Kachikwu said.
“Ultimately what this country needs is to have its refineries working and I have said that it is shameful that after 30, 40 years of activities in the downstream, cannot produce sufficient [petroleum products]. I have said nobody sells crude in its form in the world and we have to have the technical capacity to do this.”
He, however, told the committee that, the Presidency is addressing the challenges pose by the petrol scarcity.
Meanwhile, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said the petrol crisis will remain, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remains the sole importer of petrol.
The agency’s director, Mordecai Ladan, in his presentation before the Senate committee on petroleum resources (downstream), said NNPC does not have the capacity to be Nigeria’s sole importer of products.
Ladan also told the committee, that NNPC cannot be the sole distributor of products.