The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign his position if Nigeria continues to import fuel by 2019.
Kachikwu stated this during an interview on BBC World Service programme, HardTalk, anchored by Stephen Sackur.
In the interview, which lasted 23 minutes, Mr. Kachikwu promised to deliver on the completion of the refineries, noting that he was committed to delivering a future for oil in Nigeria.
On Nigeria’s over-reliance on oil, the minister said the government plans to diversify into agriculture and other sources of revenue.
He said, “Oh, yes, clearly over- reliant , but whether that is dangerous… I look at the positive side of oil also in terms of what it’s done to a country over the years . But when the price slumps, it’s dangerous.
“But we will love to see a lot more diversification, a lot more efforts going into agriculture, emphasis on tourism…”
When asked when the country was going to be self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum, Mr. Kachikwu declared that 2019 had been set as the target.
“2019 is the target time… I target 2019 . If I don’t achieve it, I will walk…I put the date and I will achieve it,” the minister said.
He, however, did not clarify if he meant early 2019 or the end of 2019 with the current administration’s tenure set to lapse in May 2019 unless re-elected.