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The sweeping oil sector reforms being carried out by the federal government have received the backing of the 36 states of the federation, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has said.
Governor Okowa, made the assertion when he hosted the management of Warri Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company (WRPC) led by the company’s Chief Operating Officer (Refineries), Anibor Kragha on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital.
He admitted that although the reforms would bring about immediate pains to Nigerians, the long-term benefits were huge, noting that all the state governors are in support of the liberalization of the downstream sector of the economy.
He said: “if the refineries succeed, Nigeria succeeds and different states succeed because the importation of fuel has impacted negatively on the revenue of government; all the state governments are in support of the liberalization of down-stream oil sector of the economy because, we are caught in the web as the price of oil is very low and there are no foreign exchange to continue to import fuel.
“I sympathize with all Nigerians, we did not anticipate this situation, I believe the Federal Government will find ways to cushion the effects of the liberalization but, above all, there are lessons to be learnt from the situation; we need to diversify our economy as quickly as possible.
“The restructuring of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the liberalization of the down-stream oil sector if followed through thoroughly will impact positively on the economy and create jobs for the citizenry,” he said.
Governor Okowa also decried the series of bombing by the militants, explaining that their dastardly acts were antithetical to the development of the region, and the nation at large.
According to him, an advocacy committee led by the Deputy Governor is currently on sensitization visit to oil-bearing communities for the people to protect the pipelines and government property in their domain.
The governor called for partnership between his administration and WRPC to tackle the menace of tankers on the roads, disclosing that though, the state government has provided a park for the tankers; it has been observed that it could only accommodate about 20 per cent of the tankers which has given room for a bigger park to be constructed.
The WRPC’s boss, Kragha commended Okowa’s administration for its commitment towards providing the enabling environment for business to thrive in the state.

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