Petrol subsidy: Uzodimma counters World Bank, says Nigeria trusts CBN for sound economic policies


Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo, says the country will continue to rely on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to secure the country’s economy.


Uzodimma said this on Friday while speaking with state house correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.


The World Bank had said the current petrol subsidy regime poses an “existential threat” to Nigeria, adding that the country would have to eventually get rid of the arrangement.


In response to this, the governor said the bank’s projections were perpetually inaccurate.


 “Our own bank is Central Bank of Nigeria and we are going to look up to them to come up with policies that will protect and secure our economy,” he said.


Uzodimma added that “25 years ago, before 1999, the World Bank had always said Nigeria will break into pieces and today Nigeria has not been broken into a half piece”.


“This country is loved by God and our faith in God has been keeping this country,” he said.


According to him, the country has allies who are “friendly enemies” — internationally and nationally — but Nigeria continues to exist.


“There is nowhere in the world you will go and the gas stations you will see are not Shell, ExxonMobil, Texaco Overseas, all the major oil producing companies,” he said.


“It is only in Nigeria that you will hear languages like independent marketers, Okafor & Sons Filling Station and all that. What is the World Bank saying about that?


“It is only in Nigeria you talk about subsidy. What is World Bank saying about that?


 “It is only in Nigeria you hear jargons like turnaround maintenance. Where else in the world do you have such language?


“A refinery is a process plant that requires just routine maintenance and cleaning, but here we spend billions of dollars to do what they call turnaround maintenance.


“If you have been to the United States, Texas in particular, where crude oil production is heavy, when you are arriving Houston airport, look at the environment; they plant vegetables, farmers live there, an environment where they produce crude oil.


“What is the cost of producing one barrel of crude oil in Houston by Shell and what is the cost of producing one barrel of crude oil by Shell in Nigeria?


 “But if you are landing in Warri Airport, look at the local river, there is no fish anymore, the place is highly polluted. There’s total disregard to our environmental laws and nobody’s raising all these issues, rather what we want to occupy ourselves with is knowing a party that has Muslim-Muslim ticket and a party that has Christian-Christian ticket.


“So, they are making a mockery of us and if we don’t rise up and address our challenges, nobody, I repeat, nobody, will do it for us. We have to define our country, we have to identify, collectively, our national interest so we can also collectively defend it.”

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