EKET DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS (EDC) USA POSITION ON FUEL SUBSIDY AND THE AMAKPE REFINERIES

6 Feb


PRESS RELEASE: EKET DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS (EDC) POSITION ON FUEL

SUBSIDY AND HOW THE

COMPLETION OF AMAKPE REFINERIES WOULD HELP ALLEVIATE THE PROBLEM.

In light of the recent fuel subsidy crisis in Nigeria which almost

derailed our fragile Democracy and its continuous aftershocks, Eket

Development Congress USA Inc. (EDC) has decided to add its voice to those

of millions of Nigerians who believe that the solution to the subsidy

issue is within our power to ameliorate. The Federal Government and the

Akwa Ibom State Government in particular should seize this golden

opportunity to jump start talks with Amakpe Refinery, a Project with

benefits that would extend beyond the shores of Nigeria.

Like many Nigerians of different works, EDC is at a loss as to why the 8th

largest producer of Crude Oil in the world, Nigeria, is unable or

unwilling to refine adequate fuel for at least local consumption? Why do

we have to subsidize fuel imported from outside the country when we can

refine enough within the borders of Nigeria? Many have argued that it is

not profitable to refine locally as long as we are subsidizing imported

fuel, if we as Nigerians know what the problem is, why are we not willing

to fix it by creating the environment to promote the establishment of more

local refineries.

EDC notes with interest Governor Akpabio’s recent statement in which he

expressed his support for the removal of the subsidy, and maintained that

the subsidy was applicable to fuel imports, and therefore had no potential

to generate employment, or add to the country’s gross domestic product.

The Governor was also quoted as saying that rather than subsidizing

consumption, the government should subsidize production, pointing out that

under the subsidy, those who ran refineries were not eligible for subsidy

but were expected to sell at the regulated price, while those importing

fuel were benefiting from the subsidy.

Given the above comments and recent pronouncements by the government of

Akwa Ibom State, led by Governor Godswill Akpabio, to release the sum of

one billion dollars for the industrialization of the state that has

prompted EDC to assume that Governor Akpabio would fully support an

immediate commencement of talks with the Amakpe Refinery promoters with

the aim of finding a lasting solution to the impasse.

The Amakpe Refinery Project requires the sum of $30 million to fund the

pending receivables and construction costs to complete full implementation

at the Project site in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, and will start-up production

and be operational within six months of shipment of the completely

fabricated Refinery Equipment. Implementation of the Amakpe Refinery

Project will create over 1,000 direct jobs and about 5,000 indirect jobs

in the restive Niger Delta of Nigeria which would go a long way in

assisting the Federal Government Militancy Rehabilitation Program. Within

a few years of operation, the 6,000 BPD Amakpe Refinery will increase

its refining capacity through 12,000BPD to 50,000 BPD, and would create

over 3,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs, with the ability to

reduce militancy and kidnappings in the Niger Delta Region .

Furthermore, the development will support the genuine efforts of the

Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at increasing local crude oil refining

capacity and making Nigeria Energy independent, which will help to address

the problem of Fuel subsidy.

Prayers:

EDC is requesting Your Excellency, Governor Godswill Akpabio to note the

urgent importance of the Project towards your Industrialization program in

Akwa Ibom State and by extension, Nigeria’s economic growth and

development and;

(a) Intervene in the seeming misunderstanding between the Primary

Promoters and the Akwa Ibom State Government.

(b) Facilitate the approval of a US$30 million loan request made by

Sterling Bank to the Bank of Industry (“BOI”) to support the completion of

the Project; and

(c) Encourage the Federal Government to grant Amakpe Refinery Project the

benefit from the Department of Petroleum Resources Fiscal Incentives for

development of Private Refineries.

EDC urges Akwa Ibom State government to reconsider its position in the

interest of the overall good of our citizens, as it strives to create

gainful employment for the citizens of Akwa Ibom State in particular and

Nigeria in general. EDC also urges both parties to enter into good faith

negotiations and find a way out of the quagmire. We believe that the

Government of Akwa Ibom State as a “senior member” of our society should

invite the Amakpe Promoters for talks in the interest of our State and for

the benefit of all.

We thank you and we look forward to your commissioning of the Amakpe

Refinery Project in the very near future.

Margaret Itauma Nwaessien Essien

National President National Secretary

Eket Development Congress USA Inc

PRESS RELEASE: EKET DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS (USA) INC.

PO Box 540106, Houston Texas USA 77254

http://www.eketusa.org/

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