Support CNG  Vehicles, Modular Refineries, Rights Group Tell  FG

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*Advocates sale of crude to local refiners in Naira instead of dollars 

By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo

The Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN) has called on Federal Government to support Modular Refineries and the manufacturing of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles to reduce the hardship Nigerians are facing following the removal of fuel subsidy in the country.

Speaking to newsmen  in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday,  Chairman of the group, Otuekong Franklyn Isong said if  the Federal government allows the local refiners to purchase crude oil with Naira not Dollars and encourage them to refine locally, there would be abundance of petroleum products which would eventually  crash the  price.

Isong regretted that despite the abundance of crude oil in Nigeria, price of petroleum products is high with its effect on cost of commodities, adding that President Tinubu should as a matter of urgency, look into the plight of Nigerians.

He further regretted that millions of Naira  being spent on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of moribund refineries and workers who are dormant, being paid monthly.

He also urged the Federal government to publish the list of those who received the subsidy from 1999 till  May 29, 2023 when it was removed.

Isong also called on the organized labour not to allow the implementation of the rumoured impending increase in fuel price saying they (organised labor) should lead a mass protest if the FG goes ahead to increase the price even as he promised that CHRAN would follow noting that ‘protest’ is the only language Nigerian government understands.

According to him, “We have crude oil in this country, there is no basis for Nigerians to be experiencing petroleum price increase. We are experiencing this because we don’t refine our products we depend on foreign exchange rate, rise of dollar against Naira free fall. 

“CHRAN wants the President, Bola Tinubu to fix our refineries,  support modular refineries to refine products locally. If they are able to buy the crude oil with Naira and not in dollar and refine, there will be availability of products and fall in price. 

“The president should also ensure activation of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles inorder to address the issue of incessant petroleum price increase. Having removed the subsidy you cannot continue to talk about market forces or allow the fate of Nigerians to be hanging on determination of market forces of what you don’t produce.

Isong also called on President Tinubu to constitute his cabinet wondering why a president after 60 days in office is yet to set up his cabinet even after them being cleared by the National Assembly.

He attributed the problems facing Nigeria to lack of people to advise the President. 

“More than 60 days in office, the president has no cabinet in place? 45 of the nominees have been cleared so what is keeping them from being sworn in? As at now we don’t know who is the Minister of petroleum resources, or Minister of labour. Who will address the issue of fuel increase, insecurity? and so on. Let his cabinet advise him on the issue of economy, insecurity etc. Robbery is on the increase, poverty is high because of one harsh policy of federal government.” He said. 

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