Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has said that he lost about 10 to 15 pounds of body weight, when they tried to remove subsidy on petroleum products, back in 2016.
Speaking on Hard Copy, a programme on Channels TV, the Junior Minister stated that there is a lot to deal with, when subsidy removal is to be carried out.
“If you want to take away subsidy, you have to deal with the Unions and Nigerians. Everybody is saying take away subsidy, and you will have a solution. When I did it in 2016, I think I must have lost between 10 and 15 pounds”, he said.
Expressing regrets at the current state of the nation’s refineries, Kachikwu said that the refineries almost need to be shut down.
“If there is one area where I feel sad, its the refineries, because there is a huge gulf between my pronouncements and where I would like it to be, and what we have been able to achieve.
“The reality today, is that we are still below 15 percent of utilisation of those refineries, because they need to be maintained, reworked, they almost need to be shut down and completely refurbished.
“Neglect of over a decade, is forcing us to say are these scraps, or how much will it cost to fix them.
“The 2019 plan is off, there is absolutely no way given that no contractual terms have been reached by the NNPC and the potential Investors. So, there is no way that you can get refineries to 90 percent capacity template in 2019, and for us to exit complete importation of petroleum products.”
Kachikwu disclosed that the recent high petrol consumption figures in the country are alarming, adding that, even the President is questioning the figures.
“I am questioning those numbers, and we are now tracking products that are coming into the country, for the first time. So, in a matter of two months, we will be able to say for certain what we consume.”
On the issue of the reported $60 billion loss, due to non-review of production sharing contracts, Kachikwu revealed: “There is a difference between an opportunity loss and a loss. Nobody had done anything about the law, and it has gone on for years, it is not new.
“I was talking at the time about the opportunity lost, not money earned that was lost.”