Thursday 16 April 2015

Buhari’ll reduce petrol to N40/L —David- West

FORMER Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof.
Tamunoemi David-West, said that Nigerians should
expect sharp drop in petrol price from the current
N87 to about N40 per litre, saying, “the president-
elect, Gen. Mohammed Buhari, will reduce the fuel
pump price to N40 per litre.

In a telephone interview with Vanguard, the former
minister argued that Nigeria produces millions of
barrels of crude oil daily, and if properly harnessed
will boost the performance of the industry.

His words: “I want to assure you that by the time he
takes over, petrol will be dispensed at N40 per litre.
This is possible and he has the credibility to make it
The major assignment of the president-elect when
he is eventually inaugurated is to restore
confidence to the industry.
He noted that the president-elect is familiar with
the petroleum industry, adding that he is a straight
forward person that has respect for democratic
“As military head of state, he dealt with the Federal
Executive Council with the tenets of democracy.
Buhari will build new refineries to make petroleum
products available for the masses. No responsible
government will allow the masses to suffer.
“He will strengthen the refineries within a year. It is
possible as we won’t spend any amount in setting
up a green field refinery. We already have a
blueprint as we shall use what we have to get what
we want,” he added. He further stated that on many
occasions, the president – elect had disclosed that
the subsidy initiative is a fraud which has distorted
the progress expected in the sector.

He is also said to have frowned at the spate of
corruption, which has characterised the subsidy
regime to include the trillions of Naira spent on both
Petrol and Kerosene subsidy within the past few
years, thus inhibiting efforts to properly carry-out
the Turn Around Maintenance TAM, for the
refineries. He added that on countless occasions, he
had argued that the country is forced to pay for
scam carried out by oil cartel.
Also contributing, a UK-based economic analyst,
Mr. Seyi Odetola, noted that the president-elect has
expressed doubts on the credibility of the subsidy

He added that there may be the need to
investigate the several claims made by marketers,
which will further reinforce his earlier submission
on the subsidy claim.
According to him; “The fact that most filling stations
in the country are now dispensing petroleum
products after the presidential election, despite the
threat by major oil marketers to stop selling the
product, in view of the subsidy arrears owed to
them by the Federal Government, indicated that
most of the marketers have been benefiting from
the fraud.

Removal ofsubsidy
He argued that “Where did they get funds to import
the product, given the nature of the forex? If after
the presidential election fuel is still available as if
nothing had happened, it is then apparent that there
is no fuel subsidy. “It would be difficult for him, to
unitarily remove subsidy without the proper
consideration of the plight of the major players in
the sector.
He will need to re-appraise the cause of inefficiency
of the sector.” He further hinted that the president-
elect, with his pedigree and respect for the rule of
law, will completely phase out importation by the
time the local refineries are working. This,
according to him, will totally remove subsidy, adding
that subsidy as it is presently constitutes the
promotion of corruption and impunity.
“I am optimistic that the president-elect will look
into the subsidy regime as soon as he finally settles
down for the business of governance. He stressed
that renewed attention will be given to the
revamping of the four refineries as well as focus on
the construction of new ones.”
He concluded that “In the long term, through the
confidence that will be restored in the downstream
and upstream sectors, investors will be encouraged
to do business which will stimulate the growth from
the level it is.
On his part, the Director, Strategic Planning,
Research Intelligent, Mr. Olubunmi Martins, argued
that the subsidy regime is riddled with corruption, a
sign post of the present administration. He said the
challenge before the industry is the gradual
restoration of the local refineries, which will take
care of the local consumption for petroleum
He insisted that if activities at the various refineries
are up scaled up, subsidy will no longer be a major
concern in the country. He however urged the
president-elect to scrutinise the various marketers,
as most of the companies were floated solely for
the sake of benefiting from the subsidy regime,
thereby snowballing into cartels that have held the
sector back.
Olubunmi maintained that subsidy has distorted all
the major economic activities that should have
taken place in the country. “I am still at a loss with
the concept of the whole subsidy, what is being
subsidised and who are the beneficiaries? But it will
be unwise for the president-elect to remove the
subsidy immediately he takes over the mantle of
leadership, as such an action could force him into a
trap set by the oil cabals.
“Notwithstanding, Gen. Buhari will have to do a
complete evaluation of the sector to properly
understand areas of non-performance and take
appropriate action,” he added.

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