10 November 2015, Warri – Nigeria should expect more hard times and the country will continue to get poorer as long as fuel subsidy persists and crude oil theft proving intractable.
Babajide Soyode, an engineer came to this conclusion in a paper he presented at the 45th annual national conference of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSCE) held in Orhowhorun, Udu Local Government Area, Delta State.
In the lecture on “Building Refineries in Nigeria -old or new?”, Soyode noted that fuel subsidy which started in 1988, has not done the country any good and the damage it poses to the economy will get worse if not discarded.
He further condemned the advocacy for construction of modular refineries as a solution to boosting local refining of petroleum products, saying such cannot solve the problem as modular refineries lack power to produce consumptionable quantity.
He stated, “The best thing to do is for us to building new refineries. The existing ones are already comatosed. It’s not economically viable to spend huge resources to revivie them. We need to build new ones.
“There is need to end oil subsidy. Many powerful persons are sabotaging government effort at ridding it. Modular refineries cannot solve our problems too. We need mainstream refineries to serve this country.”
Chairman on the occasion and Group Managing Director, Arco Group, Alfred Okoigun, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay special attention to the development of science and technology, noting that it’s critical to the development of any nation.
Okoigun said corruption and wasteful spending were among the major challenges facing the country, adding noted that corruption has multiplier effect on the society as it is also responsible for the insecurity and poverty.
“We have to maximise the opportunities still available to us from our oil and gas resources during this lean period. This period calls for self-discipline, high level of integrity, good governance and commitment to get it right this time and at all times.
The 45th annual national conference of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers dwelt on the theme, “Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Resources in Lean Times”