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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has on Thursday, November 17, expressed fear that the completion of the Dangote Refinery, in 2019, would turn the country’s refineries that President Muhamamdu Buhari is trying to revitalise, as scraps.
Kachikwu, who spoke at a two-day stakeholder consultation meeting on draft National Gas Policy and National Oil Policy, in Abuja, was of the opinion that the refineries should be properly fixed, before the completion of the Dangote Refinery, in 2019.
“Refineries will have to work. If time goes by, and Dangote Refinery begins in 2019, we will have scraps,” he said.
The government refineries are in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Warri, which are not producing maximally.
Analysts, were of the view that Buhari who doubles as the substantive Minister of Petroleum, would bow his head in shame, after promising during his electioneer campaign, to revamp the Oil industry.
Similarly, the Minister decried the cost of producing a barrel of crude oil, which today stands at $27, saying it should be brought down to $18 per barrel.
Kachikwu, who gave a keynote address at the event on, “Strengthening regulation in the oil and gas sector,” also talked about the need for full deregulation of the sector.
He said: “A lot of things happening in the industry for so long, have been taken as a norm. If the only thing we succeed in doing, is dealing with deregulation, subsidy removal, joint cash venture, before December, then we are succeeding.

“We still refine crude oil for $28 per barrel. We have to bring it below $18 per barrel.”
Speaking on the sector’s deregulation, he said: “What is important, is where are we heading to? Where we are heading is to try and free the industry, so that it can do its own rule, set its own prices.
“There are few mechanics that we still have to get in place properly. We can’t forget the fact that we still have foreign exchange challenges; we can’t forget the fact that income to government is still very tight, so you need to see how you balance that.
“But what is important, is the objective. The objective is still to fully deregulate, and we have started that process.
“It is a continuing process, and we will continue to fine-tune it, until we get to where we should be.”
Stakeholders at the forum, however, called for full deregulation of the sector.
According to one of the panelists, without full deregulation in the sector, it would not function as required.
Also, a government stakeholder, alluded to the fact that the pump price for fuel was subsidised.
He stated, that the PPMC that imports the fuel, sells below the importation cost price.

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