The Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has dismissed fears that the removal of fuel subsidy will spark riots as witnessed in January 2012.
Kachikwu said that the situation now is different because Nigerians now know that over 90 percent of the people do not benefit from the present subsidy regime.
Kachikwu, who made this known on Wednesday while interacting with Arise Television, disclosed that the NNPC would explore third party financing to boost the capacity of the refineries to 80 percent within a 12 to 18-month period.
“The truth is the over 90 percent of Nigerians today are really not enjoying subsidy. Subsidy is likely in the big cities like Lagos and Abuja and mainly for the rich because the subsidy element does not trickle down to the hinterland and those who are poor”.
The NNPC boss asserted that rather than deal with subsidy in the sense of absolute removal in the way it has come to be known, the NNPC will create means of eliminating the perception of subsidy.
According to him, “Right now, for example, we have not removed subsidy but petroleum products are selling at market prices due to inefficiencies in the system and people are buying those products and avoiding queues.
“We have got to be intelligent about it; the truth is that as the oil price continues to drop, we are going to face the reality of our time, which is survival”.
Kachikwu further explained that what led the NNPC to cancel the Offshore Processing Agreements, OPAs, with oil traders was so that it can have an opportunity to look at the contracts and make them more transparent for Nigerians to get better value than they are getting from the existing contracts.
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Source:: New Mail