Nigerians have been told to be proud that refined gasoline is imported from the neighboring country, the Republic of Niger.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, delivered the statement on behalf of the federal government.
Recall that the federal government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Republic of Niger for the importation of petroleum products and angered many Nigerians, who described it as an act of retrogression for the country.
In response to the criticism, Timpre in an interview with Channels TV on Monday, November 23, said that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
In his words:
“I don’t see that as a shame at all. As a country, Nigeria is a big market, we need products, even if all our refineries were working, we will still need additional products.
The Republic of Niger produces oil and is landlocked as a country. They have a refinery that produces more than they require as a country and they offered to sell us in Nigeria because this is a bigger market.
In the spirit of regional cooperation, the development of regional trade, we decided to buy from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If your neighbor is producing something that is required in your country and you buy from him, why is it a big problem?
So we agreed with Niger to buy the surplus of what they don’t need in Niger because this is a big market. Nigerians should be proud that we are doing this to encourage subregional trade because we have been talking about subregional trade for a long time and this is how it should be between neighboring countries.
Niger should care about us what they have and we should be able to import what they have from Niger. Let’s promote intra-regional ”