The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on President Muhamadu Buhari to increase local refining capacity before embarking on any deregulation process
This is contained in a statement on Tuesday by PENGASSAN National Public Relations Officer, Mr Emmanuel Ojugbana.
The union called on the president to ensure that the focus of deregulation policy was based on local production rather than importation.
It said that if local refining was not increased to meet local demand for petroleum products, especially the premium motor spirit (petrol), removing subsidy on petroleum products would bring more hardship on Nigeria.
It stated that removing subsidy while the country depended on importation of refined products would make prices of refined products to be out of the reach of the masses and would cause inflation.
It said that importation of refined petroleum products was a major drain on the nation’s revenue, adding that it created jobs for the refining nations in spite of the high unemployment rate confronting Nigeria.
“Importation of refined petroleum products is also putting the Naira under undue pressure and creating social problems for the economy.
This is unacceptable to PENGASSAN.
“Abrupt removal of fuel subsidy will create chaos that may ground the economy.
“PENGASSAN calls for well-coordinated measures with timeline to achieve self-sufficiency in local refining as a means of proffering acceptable steps to end fuel subsidy.