The House of Representatives Committee On Petroleum Resources
Downstream says it is to find out why private refineries licenced by the federal government has not started work nine years after they were granted permission.
Raising the motion on the floor of the House, Hon. Rose Okoli and 23 others lamented that the Federal Government was losing so much through subsidy and importation while companies licenced to refine the product locally have failed to commence work for about a decade.
“Government in 2002 issued licences to 18 private refineries and after nine years the private refineries have not commenced actual refining of petroleum.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has described the removal of fuel subsidy by the President as premature.
This is part of the recommendation approved by the House while considering the report of the 2012 to 2015 Median Team Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper submitted by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The federal legislators adopted the exchange rate of N155 to a dollar for the period and 70 dollars as a benchmark price of crude oil for the period.
Similarly, a Lagos lawmaker, Mr. Hodewu Avoseh has called on the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to organise stakeholders forum and educate Nigerians on the need to remove the fuel subsidy.
Avozeh in an interview with newsmen said that the policy would be beneficial to the nation if the accruing funds were well-utilised.
The lawmaker representing Badagry in the Lagos State House of Assembly said the current subsidy favoured only a section of the country and advised the Federal government to utilise money accruing from it to repair the existing refineries, improve electricity supply and other basic infrastructure in the country.
Said he: “The removal is the best for Nigerians, both directly and indirectly, based on the benefit to the people but because the government failed to explain, that is why the opposition is so high.”
Avoseh observed that the agitation against removal of the subsidy might be sponsored by those who had been benefiting from looting funds from the fuel subsidy and urged the Federal Government to sensitise Nigerians on the benefits of the removal in order to salvage the nation’s oil sector.
Ex-Lawmaker Volunteers For Petroleum Sector Deregulation
An ex-lawmaker, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, has announced that he is willing to serve as a volunteer in deregulating the country’s petroleum sector.
This follows the ex-lawmaker’s faulting of Nigeria losing over N5trilion annually as a result of fuel subsidy.
Bruce, who represented Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, on his verified Twitter handle, decried what he described as ignorance and ineptitude of government agencies responsible for fuel subsidy.
“We cannot keep losing five trillion naira annually. I am able and willing, and I volunteer myself to lead the team to deregulate our petroleum sector.
“I will execute this flawlessly such that no Nigerian will be on the street protesting.
“The ineptitude and ignorance of the government agencies responsible for this are mind-boggling,” Bruce tweeted.
Stakeholders Urge FG To Shift From Fossil Fuel
Stakeholders in the extractive industry have said that as a fossil fuel dependent country, Nigeria must develop its own strategy to engage in shifting global focus away from oil.
This was the conversation at a recent one day capacity building workshop for media and Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, through its Natural Resource and Extractive Programme, in partnership with Natural Resource Governance Institute.
The hybrid workshop, themed, “Oil Dependency in Nigeria: Imagining a Future Beyond Oil”, had over 50 participants, including journalists from the extractive sector, CSOs, and social media influencers in attendance.
The workshop, according to the organisers, was geared towards improving the understanding of oil dependency and the nexus with energy transition to better communicate the impact on Nigeria and the Nigerian economy.
Senior Officer, NRGI, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, explained that Nigeria was at a critical point in its development, hence as a fossil fuel-dependent country, it is important that Nigeria develops its own strategy to engage the shifting global focus away from oil.
“Nigeria must develop its own medium to long term strategy to mitigate the likely export and government revenue losses from a shrinking market base as these countries look to reducing oil reliance beyond 2030.
“Nigeria must make strategic decisions in the way it spends its limited revenues, take economic diversification more seriously, leveraging regional and global opportunities beyond oil, and including new frontier possibilities available in the green economy”, she said.
Also, Deputy Director, Development Practice, CJID, Mr. Akintunde Babatunde, said as energy transition persists globally, Nigeria as a monolithic fossil fuel dependent economy has to prepare for what the shift to cleaner energy sources means for its economy.
“Data is pointing us to the fact that Nigeria will likely lose a majority of its foreign exchange earnings and revenues for both the federal and subnational government.
“In fact, it is already happening, because Nigeria is at a critical point in its development process, it is important for professionals to discuss the way forward on how the decisions we make as a country are more important now than ever”, he said.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director at CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, harped on the need for capacity building for the media and CSOs, noting that they are in the best position to enlighten the public from an informed perspective.
“It is time for Civil Society Organisations, journalists, and policy experts to have this discussion, most especially as Nigeria plans to achieve net zero by 2060. There is a need for CSOs to be empowered with the right skills to be able to do the right advocacy and accountability work in Nigeria”, he stated.
Nigeria To Construct Gas Pipeline To Europe Through Morocco
Nigeria has given the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) the greenlight to implement a deal on construction of a gas pipeline to Europe through Morocco.
This follows reports of surging demand for African energy supplies from the EU that is seeking to wean itself of dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“This gas pipeline is to take gas to 15 West African countries and to Europe and through Morocco to Spain and others,” said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
“It is only after the engineering design of the pipeline has been made that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When that time comes, we will be talking about funding,” he added.
Nigeria is a member of the Opec group of major oil producers and has huge gas reserves – the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest globally.
On May 30, Tanzania transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands.
Last month, Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said European nations had “flooded” his country with requests to supply coal.
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