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FG to ban petroleum products' importation by 2018

By The Citizen

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the Federal Government will ban the importation of refined petroleum products into the country by 2018.

Onu made the declaration in his country home in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Monday while addressing a meeting of stakeholders of the ruling All Progressive Congress.

He noted that the country had relied on a single commodity, oil, which it could not determine its price, and had subsequently relegated the other sources of revenue.

The minister said, 'By 2018, Nigeria will stop the importation of refined petroleum products into the country; since independence in 1960, the country has relied on a single commodity and failed to diversify its economy; even now, we export crude oil and import petroleum products.

'The 2.2 million barrels allocated to Nigeria by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is not being met as a result of the menace of insurgency; the inability to meet our quota is affecting the nation.'

Onu stated that the Ministry of Science and Technology was working to change the country from a resource-based economy to multi-faceted economic base, adding India that had no oil but had a refinery of 1.2 million barrels capacity.

Speaking against the backdrop of the menace of insurgency in the North-East geopolitical zone of the country, the minister said that the Federal Government had drastically contained the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist sects, with the capture of the Sambisa Forest by the military.

'People who fled their residences in the North-East, mostly Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa, are now returning home and rebuilding the affected zones,' he said.