The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Doctor Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign if the country fails to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019.
Kachikwu, who spoke as a guest on BBC Hard Talk in London, also stated that he recently signed an agreement with the international oil giant, Agip, for the firm to build a refinery in Nigeria.
When asked to state the year that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in refining petroleum products, Kachikwu replied, that 2019.
Kachikwu was also told by his interviewer that the industry was totally dysfunctional considering the fact that Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined products despite having refineries, but he stated that efforts were being made to revive obsolete facilities in the sector.
The minister stated that oil prices would not “hit the roof again” as was recorded in the past, adding that this had provided an opportunity for Nigeria to get serious.
Kachikwu also stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through its monetary policy, had been able to force a lot of citizens out of the consumption culture, a development he said had strengthened the naira considerably.
On the slump in crude oil production in Nigeria, the minister said the activities of militants in the Niger Delta led to the decline in crude output and denied claims that the Federal Government was buying off the restive youths in the region through the payment of huge sums to them.