Jonathan pledges to end fuel, rice imports

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan

President Jonathan vows to end importation of petroleum products.


President Goodluck Jonathan says Nigeria is on the path of ending importation of petroleum products and food items such as rice.

The president gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja when he received the reports of the three Special Task Forces set up by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to facilitate the transformation agenda in the Oil and Gas sector.

The Task Forces are the Special Task Force on Corporate Governance and Controls in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other parastatals within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Special Task Force on National Refineries; and the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force.

Mr. Jonathan said that with the submission of the reports, his administration would soon give a time frame within which to stop the importation of petroleum products and rice.

“Before this time, people use to yab us some years back that Nigeria, we import what we have and export what we don’t have. We have crude oil for God sake. We are busy importing kerosene, import aviation (jet) fuel; import diesel; import PMS.

“If in the next 10 years, this country is still importing petroleum products, then those of us who have the opportunity to be here when we die they should write something behind us, saying we did not rule this country well, because we must stop the importation of petroleum products.”

He said that the Task Forces were not set up to investigate or witch-hurt anybody, but to recommend and suggest ways of reinvigorating the nation’s Oil and Gas sector of the economy.

“Whatever we are doing now is not for people in government now, but is for the interest of the country. In addition to that, these other three Committees were set up because we really need to look at the various aspects of the industry.

“Let me assure all Nigerians that government has no interest in hiding anything. This report is not to investigate anybody in government. This report is to look at the oil industry and tell government the best approach for us to make sure that in terms of the revenue, we maximise our revenue base (and) that is the essence.”

The president commended the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Members of the Task Forces for their efforts to reform the country’s oil and gas industry.

In her remark, Ms. Allison-Madueke pledged to ensure full implementation of all the White Papers on the various Petroleum Task Forces as approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

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