Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that Nigerians will continue to suffer from naira depreciation until the countries refineries are fully operational.
According to Kachikwu, fuel importation accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of foreign exchange demand, and that the failure of Nigeria’s refineries to work optimally has led to shortfall in the availability of FOREX in the open market.
“We need to get our refineries to work optimally, in order to inject funds back to the economy. It is taking us four to six months to go through processes and bureaucracy even to get investors coming into the country and inject money to take the refinery to the point where it is needed.
“And the reality is that unless we do that, the dream and hope I had was that in 2018 we should begin to reduce drastically petroleum product import into the country and in 2019, we should be able to exceed total local demand, and so, if we can take care of that alone, the pressure on foreign exchange will reduce. The foreign exchange conversion rate, the exchange rate will improve in favour of the Naira,” he said.