By NAOMI UZOR
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Saturday, urged the Federal Government to sell off or privatise the current local refineries in the country while encouraging new private refineries to be setup.
In a parley with pressmen on the New Year press statement on the national economy, the President of NACCIMA, Dr. Ademola Ajayi, said the Federal Government and relevant bodies involved such as NNPC, NIPC BPE, etc should sell off or privatise the current local refineries in the country while encouraging new private refineries to be setup.
“We need to remind Government that there is hope for a positive turnaround for Nigeria in 2013. This is because our association believes in dialogues, partnerships and cooperation without dereliction of our duty to call to attention and where ever and whatever is unfavourable to the economy and to profitability of businesses” he said
He said there is need to avoid fuel price increase and meanwhile, compile actual quantities sold through petrol station pumps and do all that would enable us to compare with total claims of refineries and ensure the speedy passage and signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which was first submitted about six years ago to the National Assembly.
Ajayi said government should be determined to recover by legal means funds such as the US$29 billion, which the Ribadu-led committee was quoted as recoverable payments from International Oil Companies (IOCs), adding that the recovered funds will help in the development of the country.
He called on the relevant bodies to curb the high propensity for borrowing from abroad, except from International Institutional Lenders such as IMF, ADB, World Bank, IFC, etc, only for specific developmental projects and accelerate payment of local debts owed indigenous businesses to enable expand, generate wealth and create jobs. This, he said, is only fair if treated with same attitude shown in collecting debts owed Governments.
On the issue of power, he said the cost of electricity has become intolerable as the bills have gone high despite the fact that power is not constant. “You can say that the cost of electricity must go up, but that is when the electricity is constant, when you don’t need your private generators, then you can say the price is reasonable, but when you spend so much on electricity and also spend so much on fuel or diesel then it is not cheap or reasonable” he stated.