Kachikwu promises more refineries
‘Borrowed funds will be for capital projects’
As part of strategies to end the fuel crisis, new refineries will soon be built, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said yesterday.
The new refineries, when fully operational, will enable Nigeria to export petroleum resources to other countries, he affirmed.
Kachikwu spoke at a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information in Kaduna.
On the occasion, the Minister of information, Lai Mohammed noted that the ministry decided to organize the town hall meetings to unveil the Federal Government’s scorecard in the past one year.
On his part, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said that the government would achieve its revenue projections to finance the 2016 budget.
She said: “We know there is a lot of pessimism about the very ambitious revenue projection in the 2016 budget, planned on oil bench-mark of 38 dollar per barrel.
“However, with the current oil price of 46 dollars per barrel, the Federal Government is very much optimistic that the revenue target will be largely achieved.“
Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said that all monies to be borrowed to finance the 2016 budget deficit would be used strictly for funding capital projects.
The DMO’s Director-General, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said this at a workshop on “Public Debt and the Challenge of Financing Nigeria’s Economic Recovery” organised for Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos.
He pointed out that the deficit would be funded both locally and externally as stated in the budget.
According to Nwankwo, the DMO will look at the right debt mix, stressing that the deficit could be sourced from the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank.
Muhammed stated that Nigerians “voted for us believing that we will carry out our promises. So how have we fared so far? Well, we campaigned on three broad areas: To tackle insecurity, fight corruption and revive the economy.”
On the fight against insecurity, he said: “We have performed a rare feat by subduing Boko Haram, making it impossible for the group to carry out any more spectacular attacks as it did in the past when it virtually strolled into Abuja to attack the police Headquarters and the UN Complex.
“Some will argue that the insurgents are still carrying out sporadic suicide bombings and other attacks, even though they are now very few. Well, our answer to that is simple: By its very nature, no insurgency ends suddenly. They taper off with time. Insurgencies are not conventional wars and no agreements are signed to silence the guns.”
On the fight against corruption, as the minister stated: “Today, Nigerians are less tolerant of corruption and corrupt people than before. This is because we have raised the bar in the fight against this cankerworm. Thanks to the sensitization campaign we launched earlier this year, Nigerians now know the cost of corruption, instead of just talking about it in the abstract.”
“The government is also diligently prosecuting those alleged to have looted our commonwealth. With the support of the Judiciary, these cases will be disposed of expeditiously.”
He added: “This Administration has decided to turn the disaster of the fall in the price of oil to a blessing by working to diversify our economy away from oil.
Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Culture and Tourism are some of the sectors we are currently working to rejuvenate so they can earn huge revenues for the country and create jobs. While these efforts are on, the Administration has decided to plug all financial leakages through the Treasury Singles Account (TSA), into which trillions have accrued so far.”
Apart from the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who was present, other ministers at the town hall meeting included the ministers of Solid Minerals (Dr. Kayode Fayemi) and the Interior (Abdulrahman Dambazau).