Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, said it was time for Nigeria to build a strategic crude oil reserve, with massive storage capacity, that could hold at least a month’s worth of its OPEC production capacity.
In a statement titled, “Time for strategic oil reserve in Nigeria,” he said if Nigeria built such an infrastructure, it would not have to sell its crude at a production loss.
He added that the country would be in a position to stockpile the product in its reserve until such a time the prices would improve.
Atiku noted that other nations took such a measure to protect their economies.
According to him, North American and European nations have such internal controls to protect almost every sector of their economies.
The former VP said Nigeria should not be left behind, adding that it must be in business for the best interest of its economy.
He noted that Nigeria’s oil industry remained more susceptible to outside influences, than to internal control.
He said his recommendation, if adopted and implemented, could make Nigeria’s oil industry more stable, even when there was global instability.
This, he added, would translate to greater economic independence for Nigeria.
Atiku noted that the global oil market continued to suffer from the vagaries of the coronavirus pandemic as prices continued to crash due to the sudden, massive and unexpected drop in worldwide demand for crude oil.
According to him, the features market for commodities is a turbulent one, due to unforeseen hazards that come and go.
He said it was time for Nigeria to protect its economy from being tossed to and fro by circumstances beyond its control.
Atiku stated that Nigeria must assert its sovereignty by exerting more influence in the global trade in crude oil and other features.
He said, “I believe that the time is right for Nigeria to build a strategic crude oil reserve, with massive storage capacity that can hold at least a month’s worth of our OPEC production capacity.
“If we build such an infrastructure, we will not have to sell our crude at a production loss. We will be in a position to stockpile the product in our reserve until such a time as prices improve.”
Atiku also recommended that Nigeria should discuss with its partners in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and obtain a concession to defer the sale of its daily quota.