‘We must work for Nigerians’ — Again, Tinubu charges governors
President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday again charged the Nigerian governors on the need to work for the people of Nigeria. The president stated this when he hosted members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), led by its chairman, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, at the State House in Abuja.
Reports have it that the governors expressed happiness with the president’s subsidy removal decision, all-inclusive leadership and statesmanship. They congratulated Tinubu for tackling the fuel subsidy debacle, promising to work with him to ameliorate the short-term impact of the decision. Tinubu had earlier called on the governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in addressing the menace of poverty in the country, saying the level of impoverishment is unacceptable.
The president advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people. “We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary, it is from the society. “Our position is to eliminate poverty, set aside partisan politics; we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation-building,’’ he said.
Tinubu stated that the country should be seen as one big family. “We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering on results,’’ he stressed. The president said that good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us. “We have managed ourselves very well to have a democracy. We have campaigned and arrived at our present destination. We must work for our people,’’ he charged the governors. Tinubu assured them that he would maintain an open-door policy and was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions and create bottom-up frameworks that would improve the livelihood of Nigerians. “We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanise the economy and put resources in place. We must think and perform. “After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,’’ he noted.
Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury. He also drew attention to the security problems in some states, urging the governors to put in all efforts to tackle insecurity. The president said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that would improve the livelihood of Nigerians. “We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanize the economy, and put resources in place. We must think and perform. “After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,’’ he noted.
Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury. AbdulRazaq promised the president that the governors would support the Federal Government in meeting the targets of human development. He thanked the president for the invitation to deliberate on the challenges of poverty and security, promising that the governors will support the federal government in meeting the targets of human development.
NNPCL to cut fuel import from August
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has confirmed that once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products from late July or early August, the NNPCL will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol. NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years. Other oil marketers stopped importing petrol due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.
NNPCL also owned 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery. The 650,000 barrels per day crude oil processing refinery was inaugurated on May 22, 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a game-changer. Also at the inauguration, the Founder/Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the facility would put an end to the inflow of toxic substandard petroleum products into Nigeria, adding that the refinery would meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s fuel needs.
Dangote also stated that the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or Early August this year. When contacted by our correspondent and asked about what would happen to the NNPCL fuel imports programme once the Dangote Refinery began to push out products in August, the national oil firm’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said this would change.
He said, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs. “Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote? “There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”
Muhammad explained that the NNPCL would be supplying crude oil to the Dangote Refinery based on business agreement between both parties, and that this would be in accordance with the international price of crude. “NNPC owns 20 per cent of that asset and we have an agreement with Dangote that we will supply the refinery with crude. So as soon as Dangote begins to request for crude to pay for it, NNPC is prepared to supply the crude as a business transaction. “We have been selling crude to different parts of the world for decades, and it is not whether we will sell it to Dangote, for why won’t we sell to Dangote when we are selling to other refineries and countries?” NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, recently stated that the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the national oil firm to the Dangote Refinery would start once the facility commenced operations.
Marketers demand pricing template
Meanwhile, oil marketers said the cost of refined petroleum products to be produced by the Dangote Refinery would not be known at the moment until the refinery released its pricing template. They expressed hope that the refinery would improve the petroleum products’ supply situation in Nigeria, but noted that the cost of white products would only be determined by the pricing template of the facility.
The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said, “By the time it starts producing, we would see how implementation is going to be and his template. We cannot say much about the refinery until it starts. So let us see the mode of production, how it is going to look like in terms of its pricing template.”
Also speaking on the issue, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said the pricing template from the new refinery would guide operators on what would be the cost of refined petroleum products from the facility.