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I won’t remove petrol subsidy but I’ll ensure refineries work if elected— Sowore

  Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), says he will not remove the costly petrol subsidy if elected ...


Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), says he will not remove the costly petrol subsidy if elected president.


Sowore spoke on Arise TV’s Global Business Report on Tuesday.


Subsidy has been a source of concern for oil and gas stakeholders who argue that it is negatively impacting profitability in the sector and the country’s overall revenue.


This year, the federal government has projected to spend N4 trillion on subsidy, despite calls for its removal.


Speaking on the business programme, Sowore, said he would trim petrol importation to reduce the impact of petrol subsidy.


“I am not removing it (petrol subsidy) but I am going to make sure refineries work so that we can refine locally,” he said.


“That is very important because without addressing the issue of production of fuel, typically gasoline which is what is most important about all these, we are not going to be able to address the issue of fuel subsidy.


 “There is no subsidy. We are just subsidising the things we import.”


The AAC flagbearer argued that the only benefit Nigerians are getting from the government is subsidised petrol. 


“And when you refine crude, there’s gasoline. And when you refine crude, you don’t only get gasoline. So people forget that we are no longer subsidising diesel for example,” the presidential hopeful said.


“Why is it that the money we save from not subsidising diesel is not impacting on our lives or that of aviation fuel? People keep lying to you because they always have a pressure point to blackmail the public with.


 “I have said there is no subsidy going on. We found out in 2012 after Occupy Nigeria that they were importing so-called fuel with barges that had sunk twenty years ago.


“People were arrested. They were being prosecuted. At the end of the day, till today, I don’t think any prosecution worked. Those who got sentenced or indicted at the federal high court got the appeal court to let them go. So that’s the problem.”


On oil theft, Sowore accused security agencies of involvement in the act.


“I investigated and found out how oil theft was happening on SaharaReporters as far back as 2012,” he said.


 “Some of those reports were some of the reasons people were arrested in the subsidy section of things. The people who are stealing crude oil are people who are in the Army, Navy and they have connections all the way to Aso Rock. There are people who are hidden who are abetting oil theft.”


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