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Thursday, April 18, 2024

SUBSIDY: THE GAINS OF SUBSIDY REMOVAL ARE ENORMOUS SAYS STATESMAN, URGES ATTENTION ON MODULAR REFINERIES, RAPID/TRANSPARENT DISTRIBUTION OF PALLIATIVES

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By Emeagi Emeka Williams

A business magnate and philanthropist, Otunba Toyin David Omonijo, who bestrides the walls of chains of businesses like a colossus has expressed hope that the current steps of govt would pay off soon, urging the adoption of modular refineries as urgent panacea.

Osun state born Otunba Omonijo who entertained questions from Timeswatch yesterday at the prestigious Tom Suites, Igando, one of his hospitality outfits in Lagos, added that if govt allows modular refineries to operate for local production, the pressures will drastically diminish.

As a stakeholder who built chains of oil and gas outfits from the scratch highlighted sharp practices and inappropriate personnel in the energy sector as the bane, noted that the mismanagement and graft in the oil sector are hinged on several factors which can be addressed through leadership sincerity.

Recalling how pipeline vandalisation greatly impeded operations at the NNPC Ejigbo satellite station years back, Omonijo stated that in the urgency of now, transparency and sincerity of the security agencies are important to check millitating sabotage on the pipelines.

He said that govt can go to the extent of tasking the Divisional Police Officers in various communities where petroleum pipelines exist to lead anti vandalisation campaigns with the proviso that if anything goes wrong, they will be held responsible.

In similar vein, Otunba Omonijo advised that the involvement of the locals in the business of pipelines security, through the community policing initiative can work magics.

This he averred is due to the fact that the community people know their environments more than anybody.

Otunba Omonijo further pointed that the use of technology such as cameras as additional surveillance strategy can end the culture of sabotage which had for decades enriched a few to the loss of the nation.

Suggesting further solutions, he stressed that the govt can even abandon the pipelines to frustrate those who have made brisk business of vandalisation, disclosing that the use of trains for long distance crude and products transportation, and the use of trucks for short ones can be an effective departure.

He however shared that these dimensions are applicable where the rail transport sector and the roads are in order.

Expatiating on the essence of modular refineries, he pointed that if govt gives licences for several of them, there will be local production that will not involve the need for dollars, and then there will be plenty to supply.

On the harsh impacts of subsidy abolition, the oil magnate opined that a phase by phase removal would have been the best option, considering that Nigerians have already been rocked by untold hardship.

“Rather than yanking off the subsidy regime totally, the govt should have taken 50% off first, generate and save money to fix critical sectors, fix refineries, ensure naira stability, and then, remove the remaining.

“Doing so, Nigerians will not feel the extent of pains they are feeling presently”, Omonijo buttressed.

He however urged Nigerians to be hopeful as the gains of this policy will be seen in few months to come.

He therefore advised the FG to hasten the processes of palliatives distribution and policy implementation so that Nigerians will not suffer further, adding that suffering in the land carries attendant negative developments such as robbery, prostitution, fraudulent ways , kidnapping, banditry, ritual killings, etc.

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