The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido, has said that the federal government spent $8 billion on the importation of petroleum products in 2011 alone through oil marketers.
Sanusi added that if not curbed by building new refineries, the country’s economy would be in danger of collapse.
Sanusi stated this in Benin at the weekend when he was conferred with an honorary doctorate Degree of Sciences by the University of Benin (UNIBEN) during its 37th convocation ceremony.
The CBN boss, who expressed serious concern over the inability of the government to build refineries at the detriment of the nation’s economy, however, noted that the decision of the federal government to remove subsidy on petroleum product was a measure that would be of long term benefit to the nation.
Thanking the university for the recognition accorded him, Sanusi said: “Before I leave, I want to put on the table some of the facts that have been covered up or people don’t know. Today, we have sold over $8 billion to oil marketers in the name of importing petroleum products in 2011 alone. Today, the biggest export from United Kingdom to Nigeria is petroleum products, we are oil producing country, every time you establish an LP to import product you are keeping refineries in Europe open, creating jobs in Europe and making profits for European companies.
“We need to pay that subsidy and invest in our own refineries. A significant part of the oil that is supposed to be imported into the country sometimes never get here or is transferred across the borders to other West African countries, a significant part of the product that comes in at N65 per litre does not get sold at N65 across the country”