Former Delta State Governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has described the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) planned nationwide protest against the fuel subsidy removal beginning from January 27, 2022, as a misplaced priority.
Onuesoke made remark yesterday in statement issued in Warri, in reaction to the proposed protest following the federal government’s plan to remove subsidy from petroleum products.
He said rather than protesting over fuel subsidy, the union should have vent their anger over the failure of the authority to renovate the non-functional refineries in the country.
Onuesoke, who is also the Chairman of DAS Energy Services Limited, noted that the issue of payment of fuel subsidy would be minimised or totally eradicated if the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries were functioning optimally.
He said government had no reasons not to revive the domestic refineries, stressing that it was only Nigeria among the OPEC member-countries that import more than 90 per cent its refined petroleum consumption.
“I expect the NLC to protest over the non-functional of the nation’s refineries and the 21 NNPC storage tank farms across the country rather than fuel subsidy removal. If the labour union can push for the repairs of the refineries and it is done, the issue of fuel subsidy will be over. I wonder why they are all turning their eyes away from the reality. What is the need of having over four non-functional refineries that is gulping billion of Naira annually,” he asked.
Onuesoke maintained that the removal of fuel subsidy without making strategic plans or giving particular attention to the domestic refining would inflict more hardship on the people.
“Before the removal of the fuel subsidy, it will indeed be a very good idea for Nigeria to go all out to resuscitate its four comatose refineries and embark on building new others in order to mitigate the consequences of the withdrawal,” he said.