Make Refineries Work, Okogie Tells Obasanjo

( [email protected] ) Jul 07, 2003 04:09 AM EDT

The Catholic Archbishop of the Lagos Archdio-cese, Dr. Olubunmi Ok-ogie, has called on the Federal Government to ex-plain to Nigerians why the nation's refineries were not functioning properly.

The Archbishop in a sta-tement signed by his Dire-ctor for Social Commu-nications, Reverend Father Gab-riel Osu said such explanation became necessary in view of government recou-rse to fuel increase in disregard to public outcry.

Okogie who expressed surprise over the recent increase in the pump price of petroleum products de-scribed the action as "unfortunate, ill-timed and totally un-called for".

He called on the Federal Government to explain to Nigerians what grounded the nation's oil refineries and also to make public what has happened to the various funds allocated for the turn-around maintenance (TAM) of the refineries.

While expressing thanks to God that the general elections have come and gone without any violence, he said, "I expected those elected to settle down to business and give the nation a sense of direction, rather than being further distressed."

While stressing the need for government to put the nation's refineries in order, Okogie pointed out that importation of fuel was not the best option to savage the nation's economy.

"For now, the people's hope for a better life and meaningful existence has been dashed and it looks as if there is no hope for the ordinary Nigerian".

The cleric consequently advised the federal government to devise a means of checking the spiral effect of the fuel increase on the lives of the masses.