Dr Titus Okunrounmu, the Former Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on the Federal Government to consider building new refineries in order to meet domestic demands for petroleum products.
He said this in an interview with NAN while reacting to the persistent increase in the pump price of diesel and resurfacing of petrol scarcity in some parts of the country.
According to him, building new refineries had become necessary considering the size and population of the country.
What the former CBN director is saying
He explained that the crude oil balance could be exported to the world, thereby generating more income to boost the nation’s revenue base, adding that the additional revenues generated from selling crude oil could be used to pay the salaries of workers rather than borrowing to pay workers’ salaries.
He said, “If the country exported crude oil to other countries, the nation will be in money, and Nigeria will be what God want us to be. God loves Nigeria so much that He gave us that crude oil before independence and it is still there today.”
He also stressed the need for the federal government to develop new refineries due to the collapse of the four major ones in the country, referencing the four refineries which are operating below their optimal capacities including two in Port-Harcourt, and those in Warri and Kaduna.
The former director of CBN strongly advised the Federal Government against depending on individuals who have refineries or those that are presently building one in order to check monopoly power in the country.
According to him, if an individual-owned refinery fails for a day in the supply of petroleum, the whole country would be in serious problem. “There is no wisdom waiting for a monopoly to solve the problem of petroleum supply in the country,” he said.