The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the removal of petrol subsidies in the country may lead to instability.
He said this on Monday in an interview with the Journalist and noted that many countries have introduced measures to help citizens cope with high oil energy prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
“When you consider the chaos, the social disharmony and … instability such an action (abolishing subsidies) would facilitate, is it worth it? I don’t think so,” he said
When speaking on oil theft in the country, Mohammed said there are concerns about the culpability of the nation’s security agencies. He also said that barges of oil cannot be stolen and moved on the coastal waters without the collaboration of some powerful stakeholders.
The Minister also alleged that the new petroleum industry law that allocates money to oil-producing communities would stop attacks. He further blamed the European Union’s climate change policies for stifling investment in the sector.
“This puts the figure at about N1.36trillion when converted to naira with the official rate of N416.25 to the dollar exchange rate. In the first quarter of 2022, oil theft was worth N434billion. This menace has prevented Nigeria from meeting its crude oil output capacity.
“Out of about 141million barrels produced in the first quarter, about nine million barrels were lost to crude oil theft. This menace has become a national disaster and a critical threat to the nation’s revenue base. Various reports confirm that the Bonny Terminal Network, Forcados Terminal Network, and Brass Terminal Network are major routes for this organized crime.
“We believe that climate change is real and important for emission control, but there is a bit of double standard in the EU policy regarding climate change,” he added.