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Buhari Speaks on Fuel Subsidy & Scarcity Issues: “I Will Try and Find Out What Went Wrong”

BellaNaija.com

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Buhari 2015 BN 7

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari is speaking out about the current fuel issues Nigeria is facing.

Here are excerpts from a recent interview he had with Daily Trust:

One burning issue is fuel subsidy. I believe you are aware of the queues in major cities like Lagos and Abuja. The fuel importers say they are unsure of the direction of the new government in this area. Have you considered maintaining or withdrawing this subsidy or are you questioning whether it didn’t exist at all?

One of the problems I have, other than the military, is the petroleum industry where I served for three and a half years under General Obasanjo. When people start talking about this subsidy I honestly get confused. I will tell you this, and I hope it will answer what you want to know. Back then we had a refinery in Port Harcourt, which was refining 30,000 barrels a day of Nigerian crude.

Later, it was upgraded to refine 100,000 barrels a day. Another refinery was built in Port Harcourt to refine 150,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude. So, Port Harcourt alone had the capacity to refine 250,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude.

But when I found myself as the Minister of Petroleum I set up another refinery in Warri for 100, 000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude and the Kaduna refinery a 100, 000 barrels per day. So Nigeria built capacity to refine 450,000 a day.

Four Hundred thousands of which is purely Nigerian crude, but 50,000 was imported. The type of crude could be Venezuelan, which could be a bit heavier. But the lighter ones – kerosene, aviation fuel, diesel, PMS of different grades could be produced from our crude because Nigerian crude is about the best in the world.

If you could recall, after finishing as Minister of Petroleum, I subsequently became Head of State. You remember, I appointed Professor Tam David West as the Minister of Petroleum. When we rounded up bunkers, collected their illegal jetties and allowed jetties for only big firms which were doing production and development in the country, we were shocked that we had too much fuel.

We had to begin to export 100,000 barrels per day. Don’t forget that we didn’t stop at building refineries, we built more than 20 depots during my time, from Port Harcourt to Ilorin, Makurdi, Suleija, Maiduguri and Kano. More than 3,000 pipelines were laid to connect them. A number of stations were also built to take the trailers off the road, save lives and the infrastructure on the road. It is more economical because each trailer uses fuel.

We did all that in this country and we didn’t borrow any money as far as I know. It’s Nigerian money. From each Nigerian crude, whether Akwa Ibom, Bonny Light or whatever it is, you can work out how much products it will give you; how much petrol it will give you; how much diesel it will give you if you want to produce diesel. We could tell how much Nigerian crude cost, the cost of transportation from there to the refinery, the cost of refining, the cost of transportation to the pump stations and maybe 5 per cent go for overhead. I can understand if Nigerians pay for those costs. But somebody is saying he is subsidizing Nigerians. Who is subsidizing who?

But they argue that the price should not be the same in Lagos and Daura, for example?
It has to be the same because it is the Nigerian crude.

But they consider the cost of transportation?
Why didn’t it make any difference when we were around? Why did we build the network of pipelines? Why did we build the network of depots? What can Nigerians benefit from the God-given gift of petroleum? No refinery is built unless there is an in-depth research that there is enough reserve of up to six layers to be produced.

The argument I have heard is that refineries are aged. Mostly, they are performing at less than half of their capacity…?
You can’t defend these corrupt and incompetent people. You can’t defend them. There used to be what they call turn-around-maintenance. You close the refinery in order to overhaul and clean it. What we did: we asked our producers, we need various refined products of this type at this time when the refineries are being cleaned. Take this type of Nigerian crude and bring us the refined products.

What we don’t need, we will calculate and pay you as fees for refining and transportation. If it is more than what the crude can handle, then we take it from the treasury. But you are trying to justify all these frauds by saying the refineries are aged.

Of course, they are actually aged?
They said the refineries are aged. The pipelines are leaking. There is vandalisation. Who ordered the vandalisation?

Does it suggest that you don’t believe in the subsidy? So, you are not going to agree to its continuation in anyway?
I would like to be on ground and find out what really has been going wrong. Why is it that people are doing round-tripping with the Nigerian products and take money from the treasury? Some people are still in court. You know about it. So, I’m not taking anything for granted. But I will try and find out what went wrong.

Read the full interview on Daily Trust

63 Comments

  1. Missy J

    May 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

    BellaNaija..with the way you are dishing out news anyhow your fuel will soon finish ooh.
    Please what is GEJ the present head of state saying about this fuel crisis? And please leave Buhari alone before they accuse him of running a parallel government.
    I can’t help but notice Buhari’s apt answers. Please get in then and find out what went wrong. They have forgotten he served in that ministry.

  2. odionye ugo

    May 24, 2015 at 10:05 am

    GMB I trust in your leadership.

  3. Geta

    May 24, 2015 at 10:40 am

    In depth knowledge comes with experience … This isn’t a practiced speech!
    Pls dnt disappoint Sir

  4. A Real Nigerian

    May 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

    This man doesn’t know what he’s about to get himself into. The country is so bad. When he is sworn in and meets an almost-empty treasury then he will know he has a LOT to do.
    At this point, stopping or reducing corruption won’t be enough anymore. Corruption has already eaten deep into the heart of the country and has left it dying. It has left it breathing it’s final breath.
    Nigeria is just a few months away from being a completely failed state, one where salaries are unable to be paid, transportation costs double or more, perpetual darkness, a helpless government and a total collapse of everything else.
    Soon after, the frustration caused by all these will lead to all sorts of crises and instability.
    You should all thank your various gods that the greedy and wicked Jonathan was coerced into conceding defeat by international bodies, or else, we would have been undergoing a full-blown unrest by now. Thousands would have died, and coupled with this current economic collapse, we would have been even worse than the likes of Syria.

    • A Real Nigerian

      May 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

      *its

    • Goldmine

      May 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      So really what is your point?

    • nwa nna

      May 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      @ A Real Nigerian, please shut the hell up and if you feel that strongly about GEJ you can pack your damn bag & move to otuoke or wherever the heck he’s from for all I care. ssh..

    • Ada bekee

      May 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      @What is your point? You are so full of negativity. Gosh! So as a corrupt nation, Nigeria is helpless and hopeless is that what you mean? Please, what we need is the way forward. You say Nigeria is breathing it’s last, a completely failed country, bla bla bla. What contributions did you put in your own capacity to better this nation? Here you are talking trash. Please go take several seats joor.

    • Ides of March

      May 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Please do not nail the coffin shut, Nigeria is not dead yet! We just need to get our sh*t together but we’re still in this, make no mistake.

    • Jhennique

      May 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      he doesnt know what hez getting himself into? like forreal? please stop saying rubbish things like that

  5. kelechi

    May 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Baba please if it’s only this issue you’ll solve in ur term Pls solve it. Our problems are toooooo many, you can’t solve half of them. Just pick this and energy and focus your time and energy. Nigerians will forever be grateful. Don’t mind that dishonest ex pretending to be a good man

  6. Ada Nnewi

    May 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

    This is a President!

  7. ruru

    May 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I hope u will not disappoint us

    • segun

      May 24, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      he will.

    • Opsy

      May 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      he will NOT!!!

  8. ShineShineShine

    May 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Scrap the Presidential system. It is just damn too unwieldy and expensive. The average Nigerian do not understand the simple concept of service. It is about what each can get from the so called National cake. Our elected officials borrow money to contest elections. Surely, money lenders hv to be paid with interest. Pray, where does these monies come from? The treasury of course. The civil service is over bloated and every one is looking to get rich. The average Nigerian expects no less. Go into Govt and come back rich. How you do it is nobody’s headache. Build giant houses with envelope edges for habitation by rats and roaches. Buy fanciful luxury vehicles and throw lavish parties only fit to be shown on BN and simple commenters “tap” into the blessings……

    That the Nigerian Nation is still standing is mind boggling. APC, PDP, APGA etc one and ten pence.

    • nene

      May 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      gbam.

    • nnenne

      May 25, 2015 at 2:21 am

      @shineshineshine…. Very, many thanks.

  9. Seriously

    May 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I really hope Buhari is not all mouth, that he actually goes in and make Nigeria progress. It’s been long time coming that we have a leader who actually takes action small that will lead to big ones.

  10. Ghostmode

    May 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Reading this gives me hope. Very refreshing that he knows what he is talking about.I have never been able to understand why we have to import fuel. I pray that you will be granted the Wisdom of King Solomon to rule this country, we are lacking the basic infrastructure to build a sustainable economy .

  11. Bamz

    May 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    This is more like it, at least a leader who has an idea of how it should ordinarily be. May God give u the wisdom to lead this nation aright and may he give you the courage to take hard decisions where necessary.

  12. miss Pynk

    May 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    He should take a simple stance on the subsidy. Only marketers with fuel stations should be allowed to import. And there is no subsidy. Those refusing to sell should have their licenses revoked. Simple. If moman wants to set prices, they should within a reasonable threshold. Let there be fair market competition.

  13. nwa nna

    May 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    And ladies and gentlemen, here’s a leader that has a first hand grasp & understanding of what’s really happening in Nigeria!
    Notice his answers were very precise & concise, unlike the inept leader we’ve now always blabbing & still not making any damn sense.
    You may not like GMB for whatever your reasons are, but one thing you cannot deny is his understanding of the pressing issues and how it can be remedied.
    Notice, GMB is not wishy washy when he speaks about issues affecting Nigeria because he knows his stuff but my dear Nigerians are easily faked out by the BS being propagated by outgoing administration.

  14. Iris

    May 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    This fuel situation reminds me of a joke by Chris Rock where he said ‘If you were hanging from a cliff ready to fall to your death and all you needed was a f**k to save your life, and George W. Bush had two f**ks, he wouldn’t give you one…nobody gives less of a f**k than George W. Bush.’
    Enter Jonathan. I suppose he thinks it is no longer his business.
    I hope their fuel finishes on the way to Otueke.

    • nnenne

      May 25, 2015 at 2:26 am

      When did going to Otueke become a punishment?

    • BlueEyed

      May 25, 2015 at 6:19 am

      @nnenne help me ask them….this otueke joke is already stale and in the least not even funny.

      On the fuel crisis at hand, these answers up there don’t even show what and what his actions will be to help the situation, I just see someone describing the Nigeria of years ago, please we know you are old but profer solutions for the Nigeria of today. I thought his followers said he was an apt action taker?? Oh Nigerians are in for a treat….the ones who think that come May 29th the messiah has come are even in for the bigger treat.

    • Iris

      May 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      @BlueEyed I can assure you I didn’t crack a smile as I typed that comment. Presidents have historically moved back home after their tenure as opposed to staying in Abuja. This man’s administration has crippled Nigeria and brought it to its knees. I am not an analyst but I know that in countries where things work, a rise in taxes is typically justified by better services. After they raised the fuel prices in 2012 in an attempt to avoid this kind of priblem what got better? If it wasn’t going to make a difference they should have left it alone. Instead what Nigerians got in return was investigation committee on top committee and Sanusi saying money was missing. Abegi he shouldn’t let the door hit him on the way out. Not every good person can be a good leader and this is what happens when you surround yourself with incompetent and greedy people.

  15. Freeborn Jarikre

    May 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    If what is been heard from this interview is something to go by, and the president is ready to stand by his word, I must say here that,Nigerians will soon have a smile.

  16. Reverse

    May 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    What has this man said that inspires such confidence? Absolutely nothing. He’d get in and find out what went wrong, so he doesn’t know what’s wrong? He doesn’t understand subsidy, he’s talking about obsolete refineries. What do you plan to do in less than a week? There’s no fuel. He even asked who is vandalising pipelines (Abeg go and read the full interview). I guess refineries would be up and running in a few days. Ngwa nu, keep thumping ya chests for the ‘clueful one’

    • whatwillbewillbe

      May 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Plus all the story he yarned was from 40 years ago. He later became Head of State after 10 years meaning he was in charge 30 years ago.
      He may know a few things, but please someone should tell GMB that Nigeria has long moved on from his time on the saddle. In the first place, that amount of fuel produced by those refineries can not serve Nigeria now. I no get strength to type too much sha, I just dey very happy say Friday go soon reach, make my guy commot from Aso rock with im bad luck, make Nigeria transform abi na change to heaven.
      After all said and done, I do wish GMB Goodluck, if for no other reason than the fact that I am Nigerian.

  17. ari

    May 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Folks do not understand how close this country is to bankruptcy.
    The goats guarding the yams have emptied the barn.
    The state of the economy is worse than imagined.
    Just hold your valid visas close by and cut down on Friday night jollofing.

  18. christy

    May 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Its only God that can help us in this country even GMB can’t mush

  19. Steve

    May 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    And when we were clamouring for change, they called us and GMB all sorts of names. How worse can a country get in these past few days that GEJ is about to leave? I hope we still have a country to run when GEJ finally leaves.

  20. Tosin

    May 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    the first part of the interview…reminds me how Achebe said we have to go into the past to know when the rain started to beat us. Hmmm, President just told us how the clouds started to form. nna, the main thing be say make suffering reduce abeg.

  21. zibaintl

    May 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    making sense den suddenly became stupid….name d international bodies dat coerced jona to acept defeat please?…..a country dat has alrdy dilapilated b4 jona came in…so in ur little sense it is JONA dat brought naija to where it is now abi……d past n present leaders including all d citizens hv contributed one way or d oda to d mess we call Nigeria today…..BUHARI will come in by may 28 or 29 wich eva,,,,,but shame on Nigerians who tink d aggrieved pdp members branding demslvs as saint in APC is d meaning of change…men with questionable character who d so called corrupt pdp brought to power, run to APC n suddenly naija pple applaud dem to be CHANGE…time will tell….soon dese same hoodlums will display their ttrue color..may God lead buhari aright in d midst of d wolves in sheep clothing in APC.

  22. apc lies

    May 25, 2015 at 12:29 am

    So Daura dullard didn’t know what’s up with fuel in Nigeria and still Won????

    When an illiterate speakes! I am so sure the apc clueless one will resign half way!

    Say that again! Every intelligent living Nigerian adult know how subsidy works except a president elect!

    Pathetically so. Disappointedly so! Some folk will defend him as a former petroleum guru who want yo stabilise oil price?

    Ruling Nigeria. 30 years ago with cars and generator in only sophisticated elites is not same ruling 21 century sophisticated sharp mouths where everything household have a minimum of two cars and two generators.

    Wake up Buhari!

    • Tee

      May 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

      @apc lies, its “speaks” mbok !!!

    • Opsy

      May 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Don’t be so bitter…
      Change is here to stay, accept it already!

    • Jhennique

      May 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Dude! do you even have an idea what the govt are claiming is subsidy? it is you who needs to wake up if you cant ustand what he is talking about

  23. nene+

    May 25, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Each time Buhari talk of kwuruption I remember how much his last daughter Zhara pays for rent in Surrey! How that non of Buharis kids EVER worked!

    Yet they shop in the best places around the world UAE,,Saudi London etc

    Buhari I will really appreciate if you shut your ? door permanently as corruption got you the presidency. Yes with all your followers in the North east you never won untill you where funded with corruption. Yes Aregbesola who now can’t pay salaries gave you his entire allocation in support of you. Was that an offering or tithe that Amechi gave you again and again? How about tax payers monies squandered on you in Lagos?

    You where in the presidential wing of the best hotel with several make up experts,doctors etc for several months and then proceeded to London enmas and here you talk of corruption?

    You are the highest benefiary of corruption in Nigeria history that turned the perpetually unelectable you to a president elect! Corruption paid you buhari so shut it!

    Remind me again where your wife work to donate 135 million to IDPs while you lied that you borrowed from a virtual bank! Aninias and Saphira!

    Archaic knowledge is a big problem. What happens to clean energy every day pdp is corrupt except your funders?

    The biggest beauticians are BMPro etc who can’t take out 135million from their biz yet buharis wife beatician without client could do that?

    Once Buhari can manage the corruption in his household then I will be confident he can manage that if Nigeria.

    Start with your children and mention where they work yet they live large!

    Bad you are just getting to know how subsidy work, later today please visit some primary six students for illustration mtvheew.

    • Opsy

      May 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Hehehehe Bitter nene, no go kill yourself o!

    • Tumi

      May 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      @ Opsy, don’t mind the sore losers like Nene and Reverse . May they not die of bitterness . I can’t wait for the 29th, we need to be rid of GEJ ASAP

    • gurlie

      May 25, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Nene is not bitter. The truth is.

    • tunmi

      May 25, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Where are the receipts?

    • Jhennique

      May 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      look at this one. No go die ontop the matter oh. Whatever you think you have no choice. He is your president! If e pain you toomuch go and woo and marry his daughter. rabbish!

    • ShineShineShine

      May 25, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      @nene* True talk dat.

    • Diddy

      May 27, 2015 at 12:23 am

      nene just as u always type gbam lol

  24. Tkum

    May 25, 2015 at 3:25 am

    Missy J and others plz kindly get in here, read this interview ur miracle worker granted Daily Trust and tell me if this man understands wat he is getting into?…damn! I lack words..

  25. austine

    May 25, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Buhari have nothing to offer

    • Jhennique

      May 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Neither does your english.

  26. oy

    May 25, 2015 at 8:53 am

    amen o

  27. ssah

    May 25, 2015 at 8:53 am

    amen. we hope for the best too, but I trust God not any politician. let’s hope God will use you to do the right thing. to that…. i say amen

  28. TrulySpeaking

    May 25, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I am really amazed at how some people here are so daft!! Hian!
    Because of your bitterness against the President-Elect, you also became blind to read and see tangible meanings to what he has said. You really think he doesnt know what fuel subsidy is or what is happening? He has no right yet to hit the nail on the head. He is not yet the President till May 29th and cannot be making volatile statements anyhow.
    He really needs to find out what exactly is happening because left to him….this should not be happening.
    Inasmuch as I believe our hope is in God and not GMB/Osinbajo, God will not come down from heaven to fix Nigeria for us. He will use people.
    The new government need to listen and heed to Godly counsel. God gives wisdom to whosoever desires and ask for it. So everything boils down to God.
    I see a new Nigeria, I believe strongly that there is hope for this nation.
    Some years back, someone predicted Japan will not rise from their mess in 30 years but it took Japan less than 5 years!!!!!!
    God still rules in the affairs of men.
    To those asking us to dust our passports and run. Sorry to disappoint you. We are not leaving our dear country. We aren’t gonna wash your dead bodies and big pots to survive in your country.
    We are proudly Nigerians and God did not make mistake by creating us as Nigerians.
    Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Opsy

      May 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      #Apt

    • Jhennique

      May 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      My friend will you keep kwayet!!! you sound ignorant

    • Warizdiz

      May 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      @TrulySpeaking, You are ruuuudeh! How smart is rude? Why is it so difficult to say l disagree with you. These here are the reasons……. When pp do not hv anything intelligent to say or do not know how to challenge and argue they call others names. Any one here who called others “idiot, stupid hater etc this in not primary school play ground. Show ur intelligent. Marshall out ya points. Rudeness So typical of APC supporters.

    • YettyDKat

      May 26, 2015 at 10:10 am

      @TrulySpeaking, People are daft becos they express their opinnion? People like you who are so small and close minded never go far or do well in life. I don’t see you going far.

  29. Kattoria

    May 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    @trulyspeaking…thank you. We do not need the bitterness being sprouted by some pple here

  30. nene+

    May 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    @OPSY dont say nene you are bitter. What i said is it true or false?

    “I am not corrupt but i allowed corrupt men sponsor me” hypocritical

  31. Jhennique

    May 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Can you people just chill for a minute and give this man a break? is he God? is he the one that got the country into all this mess? he is here to try to help and like typical Nigerians we want to cut him down before he even takes a step forward. so far he is the only human hope we likely have so u either trust it or get out of the country! wetin??? He isnt even president yet. I just cant stand negativity you all are dishing out. thats the reason we never move forward. Instead of us to join hands and minds and see where we can go out of this mess we are standing and watching with stones filling out hands. When will we learn????
    *long hiss*

  32. whatwillbewillbe

    May 25, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    What is even driving me crazy is that in 2012 GEJ wanted to remove subsidy. If he had been allowed, we for no dey speak all these grammar now. But no, we had to “Occupy Naija”. All the saints at that point came out in all their glory and spoke for the masses and against the evil people and insisted subsidy ,must stay and it did. Take a wild guess on those suffering now and suddenly, no one feels the need to occupy anywhere ba?.
    Anyway, the best bet for GMB is to remove the subsidy, and lucky for him, situation on ground makes this the best time to do without so much difference to the people.
    How about when madam Minister was warning against sharing the funds in the ECA and predicting exactly what we are faced with now? The Saints crucified her and said the money must be shared. The money was indeed shared, now we have nothing to fall back on.
    What I cannot understand is how these same people can come out with straight faces and tell us that they are the Messiah we need. Ok oh, I’m just here praying for the best. We shall overcome someday

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      May 26, 2015 at 9:34 am

      *sheds tears* so there is one person in naija who remembers all these things, *wipesthetears* I have hope..big hope.

  33. Chuks

    May 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I think the general is in a vantage position to remedy the bastardised situation in in Nigeria hence he was in the petroleum sector prio to this time, only if does not give room those bad eggs in APC to infiltrate his govt.

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