The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang, said on Thursday Nigeria should capitalise on the decline in the price of crude oil in the international market to stop payment of oil subsidy and develop its refining capacity
Enang, who stated this at a forum in Abuja, said Nigeria needs to focus on how to start local refining of products to enhance economic development.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, had during the week said the Federal Government would stop payment of subsidy due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global oil market.
Enang said: “It is time for Nigeria to abandon the subsidy fully, increase and engage with these modular refineries.
“I want to say that subsidy in the petroleum product is not sustainable in any economy and it is worse now because you subsidise imported refined petroleum products from the earnings you get from the crude oil sales.
“If the price of crude oil is very low, then you have very less income for which you can do other things, therefore, if you want to subside products, you have to think of many things.”
He said the situation where government subsidise products was no more sustainable with the current development in the global oil market.
“Nigeria has the best chance now to grow its own industry, its own petroleum refining industry, there has never been a better time,’’ he added.
The presidential aide noted that stakeholders in the industry had agreed to the need to support the Artisanal (illegal) refiners in the country to boost local refining in the country,
He noted that his office had met with the major players in the oil and gas industry and strategised to ensure that artisanal refineries were effectively captured to contribute to the growth of the sector. (NAN)