The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has on Monday, said that Nigerians should be proud that the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government is set to resume importation of petroleum products from Niger Republic,
He added that contrary to comments by critics of the government, the plan by the Federal Government to resume fuel importation from its West African brother, should not be seen as ‘an embarrassment’, but rather as a means of encouraging intra-regional trade.
Reacting this evening, while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, the Minister said that Nigeria is a big market that needs excess fuel products processed in other countries.
His words: “I do not see that as an embarrassment at all. As a country, Nigeria is a big market, we need products, even if all our refineries were functioning, we will still need extra products.
“Niger Republic produces Oil, and they are landlocked as a country. They have a refinery that produces in excess of what they require as a country, and they offered to sell to us in Nigeria, because this is a bigger market.
“In the spirit of regional cooperation, regional trade development, we decided to buy from them. I do not see anything wrong with that. If your neighbour is producing something that is required in your country, and you buy from him, why is that a big problem?
“So, we agreed with Niger to buy the excess of what they do not require in Niger, because this is a big market.
“Nigerians should be proud that we are doing that to encourage sub-regional trade, because we have been talking about sub-regional trade for a long time, and this is how it should be between neighbouring countries. Niger should import from us what we have, and we should be able to import from Niger, what they have. Let us encourage intra-regional trade, and this is one good example of trading within West Africa.”