Below is a press release from Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State
I have read in the papers about some people advising the President to de-regulate petroleum products. I have a simpler, better and what I believe will be a permanent solution to the problem. That solution is to get the total quantity of crude required to produce the petroleum products consumed domestically and then give that quantity out for refining on contract to foreign firms. We can decide on what price to put on these products. In this way, we use what we have to get what we very much need – which is economic and industrial developments.
The truth is that Nigeria of today is a very high cost economy. In fact the cost of production in Nigeria is prohibitively high and just deregulating will not alter this. In fact it could become worse: there will be massive unemployment and great security problems, which will in turn lead to a loss of respect for the dignity of the Nigerian person.
We have good oil. We should put the crude oil to good use in developing our economy.
I feel that many people who are advocating for de-regulation are doing so in their enlightened self-interest. The self-interest of the Nigerian people and the Nigerian economy must come first. No well trained and experienced economist can fault this simple proposal.
For the past ten years I have been suggesting this to the government but the oil market mafia that dominated the discourse lobbied the government against the proposal.
Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife,
Former Governor of Anambra State.