Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says it’s a shame that Nigeria cannot refine its crude oil after 40 years of activities in the downstream.
Kachikwu said this on Thursday when he appeared before the senate committee on petroleum (downstream).
He said the ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were working round the clock to find a solution to petrol scarcity.
As part of the solutions to permanently end the scarcity, Kachikwu said the country’s refinery needs to be functional.
“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.
“I want to remind that over two years we haven’t had queues. We are spending night and day to find solutions to nip this in the bud.
“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 listed non-payment to marketers as one of the reasons for the scarcity. The minister also expressed regrets that some people took advantage of the situation.