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» » NIGERIANS MISUNDERSTOOD MY COMMENT THAT BUHARI WOULD REDUCE FUEL PRICE TO N40 PER LITRE...TAM DAVID WEST
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A former Minister of Petroleum Re­sources, Prof Tam David-West, has denied newspaper and online reports quoting him as saying that Buhari will crash the price of petrol to N40 per litre.

The Professor of Virology who spoke in a telephone interview at the weekend, said at no time did he ever made such com­ment, regretting that he must have been misquoted.

Rather, he said, he only canvassed that some 14 items currently listed in the petrol pricing template be re­moved as that would help crash pet­rol price to N40.

David-West said some of the 14 items included, Petroleum Equal­ization Fund (PEF) charges, trans­porters margin, lithering expenses among other charges, currently con­tained in the pricing template tend to increase the cost of petrol.

The former Minister said it was shameful that Nigeria is still in­volved in importation of petroleum products despite having four refin­eries capable of meeting the energy needs of the country.
He equally took a swipe at those pushing for sustenance of subsidy re­gime, saying the scheme was a fraud that should not be encouraged by all Nigerians.

‘‘I signed the contract for the re­finery in Port Harcourt in 1985. And I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with our refineries. But the is­sue is just that some people bent on sabotaging the efforts of government are frustrating plans to ensure that the refineries produce at optimal ca­pacity. David-West equally berated proponents of the co-locating of re­fineries, arguing that such idea was a waste of resources.

‘‘How can you co-locate refiner­ies within the existing refineries that NNPC has tagged as scraps? For you to co-locate refineries that means the refineries still have value and can be efficient,’’ he said.

Recall that NNPC had recently said that it was targeting to increase the nation’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day(bpd) to 650,000 (bpd)

The Corporation said the move was aimed at reducing fuel importa­tion in the foreseeable future, adding that nine companies have submitted bids for the co-location of new re­fineries within the complexes of its three existing refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt.

‘‘A technical evaluation commit­tee has been set up to study the bids and announce winners as soon as possible,’’the Chief Operating Offi­cer (COO) of refineries,NNPC,Mr. Anibo Kragha had said.

Kragha, said the Corporation was committed to boosting the na­tion’s refining capacity which in turn would end the perennial fuel short­ages in the country. “The aim is to leverage on the existing facilities to fast track the take off of the refineries as soon as possible.”

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