By Shedrack Onitsha,
A Human Right Lawyer, Oghenejakpor Ikimi said that Nigeria as a nation came to this sorry situation of going to Niger Republic to import petrol because the country is not blessed with visionary leaders, but endowed with leaders who are mentally lazy
Ikimi in an interview with ADVOCATE said the recent memorandum of understanding signed by the Nigerian government and the government of Niger Republic for petroleum products importation is a sad development in our national history.
The outspoken lawyer explained that the MoU to import fuel from Soraz Refinery in Zinder, Niger Republic, with an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day is a national embarrassment.
Recall that last week, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria while Alio Toune, director-general of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), signed on behalf of his country.
The signing was witnessed by the ministers of state for petroleum of the two countries, Timipre Sylva for Nigeria and Foumakoye Gado for Niger Republic.
According to the Ikimi; “Nigeria as one of the major oil-producing nation should be exporting petrol to nations like Niger Republic, but because we are endowed with leaders who are mentally lazy, leaders who are selfish, greedy, whose aim is to loot our commonwealth, today we are now major fuel importer even from an African country.
“Nigeria as a nation is endowed with leaders who are not proactive, leaders who didn’t plan for the future and that is how we came to this sad situation.
“That MOU that was signed is a national embarrassment, humiliation, our country is being humiliated by our leaders because they don’t have our interest at heart, now look at our leaders, what do they think Nigeria will be in another five years, what are they planning, where are their plans?
“As we speak, we have four refineries that are supposed to undergone turnaround maintenance, but because that we have leaders without visionary they neglected the maintenance, today, the four refineries have become obsolete.
“We have become one of the largest importers of petrol after United State, and the little foreign exchange we make from crude, we now use it to buy petrol, kerosene and diesel, because we don’t have a plan for the future.
“It’s sad that while other countries are planning for future generations, we are not even planning for ourselves, much more the future generations; we have leaders who are mentally lazy.
“Today against all odds, the Buhari government from all indications is the most corrupt, everything is static, and it’s a shame on our leaders.
“In 2023 we should look out for visionary and honest leaders, we have them in this country, but they don’t have the money to buy electoral forms, so, I am calling on selfless and visionary leaders to rescue us from this one who is taking us to nowhere, let them take part in politics, it’s a shame that we are now buying petrol from Niger.”
Ikimi added that not until we develop our institution and make them stronger, corrupt Nigerians would continue to hijack the system and exploit the people.