FG reacts to Tillerson’s sack,says no negative effect on Nigeria/US relations

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Foreign Affairs minister

The Federal Government says the sack of the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson , by President Donald Trump will in no way have any negative effect on U.S./Nigeria relations as government is a continuum.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
The meeting was presided over by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“You know government is a continuum as we all know. So, it is not about individuals
“When he came it was the United States that was speaking and clearly we expect that everything he has said as regards US/Nigeria relations reflects the position of the United States, reflects the position of the President of the United States, so we don’t see any change happening at all,” he said.
Also reacting to a question on proposed modular refineries, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said the establishment of the refineries in Niger Delta region was not a solution to the problem of fuel shortages in the country.
He said the modular refineries would essentially address the menace of illegal crude oil refining rampant in the Niger Delta, while saving the environment and providing more legal opportunist for the youth of the area.
“On modular refineries; modular wasn’t supposed to provide a sufficient solution to your product needs, modulars are on the average between 2000 and 5000 maybe 10,000 at most capacity per refinery.
“Your consumption is about 630,000 barrels per day, that is not the essence of modular, what modular was supposed to do for us is provide work within some of these communities where people are busy doing illegal refining.
“It’s not meant to address the refining product gap we have in the country, we are hoping that those gaps will be covered by a mixture of the three or four refineries that government owns currently, Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna and of course the Dangote refinery of 600,000 barrels.”
According to him, the long-term solution to the shortages of petroleum products in the country is the complete rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
The minister added that Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petrol would also be adequately addressed when the Dangote Refinery in Lagos, the proposed Nigeria/Niger joint refinery and another private refinery under construction become operational.
He said: “As a seasoned professional I have given all the guidance that is required to fix the refineries, we came into a situation where we don’t have money to fix the refineries we had to raise the money looking into the PPP model, it has to go through a process.
“The technical committee is headed by NNPC. Obviously they will submit their report to the board when they complete their work.
“So, from a governance and guidance sense, and steering point of view, I think that steering is right on track, from a management of the technical aspect of the contracting, that is something we would have to allow NNPC handle.
“It is not the job of the ministry to superimpose; you got to let them do their work and do it efficiently.’ (NAN)

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