Minister of State Petroleum Resource/NNPC GMD, Ibe Kachikwu said he will quit the government if he fails to deliver on the promise to end fuel importation in Nigeria by 2019.
Speaking in an interview on BBC World Service programme, HardTalk, on Monday, Kachikwu vowed he would deliver on the refineries and that he was committed to also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria.
Asked by the programme anchor when Nigeria was going to be self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum, the following conversation ensued:
Kachikwu: I have stated it, 2019 is the target.
BBC: You are running out of time because you know that we are near now.
Kachikwu: Don’t worry; I put the date, I will work it.
BBC: And if you don’t achieve it, you will walk (away)?
Kachikwu: Yes! Of course that is the reason why you are in government.
The minister said since he took office one-and-half year ago, he has been able to get the refineries back to begin to produce 7 million litres of petroleum product compared to zero previously.
“I have delivered on everything since I came to office. First, I took NNPC and moved them into a profit making organization first time in history and reshaped the organization. I removed cash call deficit of over $6bn, negotiated it. Everything that I have promised since coming into office, I have delivered. I will deliver on the refineries and I am committed to that and I will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board (PEF) has begun gradual withdrawal of its staff from facilities belonging to oil marketers indebted to the board in respect of bridging allowance.
The move, Daily Trust learnt, was in accordance with the directive by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
The minister had on February 9, 2017, in a letter to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, and copied to the PEF, with reference No. HMS/MPR/027/vol.1/, asked the corporation to ensure that all marketers must now tender evidence of PEF statutory payment before loading of petroleum products.
Consequently, the PEF, it was learnt, had begun enforcement of this directive by withdrawing its staff from at least eight facilities of major oil marketers and depot owners.
The implication of this, according to an official attached to one of the affected depots, was that such indebted oil marketing companies stood the risk of losing business as marketers who patronised their depots could not be reimbursed their transport claims which were usually endorsed by PEF staff.
The latest development prompted a meeting, last week, between seven major oil marketing companies under the Major Oil Marketing Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) with the PEF where both parties reached an agreement that the marketers were going to clear their debts within two weeks.
One of the marketers is said to owe as much as N5 billion. NNPC Retail, Mobil, Forte Oil, Conoil, Total and NIPCO are also said to be indebted to the fund.
Also, 84 depot owners under the umbrella body of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) met with the Fund in Abuja where an agreement was reached with the marketers for them to clear all their outstanding debts and pay within three weeks for any new product they got.
General Manager, Corporate Services of the PEF, Goddy Nnadi, while confirming the development, said some of the indebted marketing companies had started making efforts to reconcile their debts.
Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Thomas Olawore, who led his members to the meeting, did not respond to calls made to him.