Nigeria to cut fuel importation in 2018

Solomon Chung, Kaduna

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu says once government finalises investment in refineries, by the year 2018, Nigeria can cut down importation of refined product by 60 percent.

He stated that the nation will also export much of the product by 2019 for the first time in the country’s oil history.

He disclosed this on Tuesday at the second town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

Revamping the economy
Also at the same event, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said Nigeria has set out 34 priority projects that would see the country revamp and grow her economy in an unprecedented manner with great fiscal discipline to be put in place.

She reeled out some of the projects as; achieving a predictable foreign exchange regime in the next 12 months, achieving a single digit interest rate for the production sector, cutting down on wastages of government resources, fighting corruption using compliance mechanism and achieving sufficiency in food production among others.

She also revealed that some part of the 2016 budget would be financed by foreign and local borrowing but there was a deliberate plan to put the money into capital projects.

Participatory democracy
Meanwhile, the convener of the meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the present administration takes very seriously the concept of participatory democracy, by which citizens are involved in political decisions and policies that affect
their lives.

“The essence of this meeting is for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of its stewardship since coming into office on May 29th 2015. This is the right thing to do because we entered into a contract with you during electioneering campaign to do certain things and it is only right that we let you know how we have fared since we assumed office. This administration is therefore committed to ensuring that there will be no communication gap between the government and the governed,” she said.

The Minister of Information and Culture reminded the audience that “the All Progressive Congress (APC) did make some promises to you during the electioneering campaign. You voted for us believing that we will carry out those promises. So how have we fared so far? Well, we campaigned on three broad areas: To tackle insecurity, fight corruption and revive the economy.”

“We have performed a rare feat by subduing boko haram, making it impossible for the group to carry out any more spectacular attacks as it did in the past. On corruption, Today, Nigerians are less tolerant of corruption and corrupt people than before.

He further stressed that, “This is because we have raised the bar in the fight against this cankerworm. We have also brought to the attention of Nigerians the cost of corruption.

On the economy, this administration is working assiduously to diversify our economy away from oil. Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Culture and Tourism are some of the sectors we are currently working on to rejuvenate, so they can earn huge revenues for the country and create jobs. While these efforts are on, the administration has decided to plug all financial leakages through the Treasury Singles Account (TSA).”

The Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu said the Ministry was working towards using ICT to restore the economy and also create jobs.

He also said they are working towards reviving the NIPOST bank across the country, especially for rural dwellers.

He stated that Nigeria was working towards adding too more satellite in the orbit to complement the existing one.

He assured that the one existing can serve the nation but decried lack of patronage from Nigerian companies.