The Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, has advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on how to stem the tide of the fall in the value of the Naira against major currencies, stressing that fuel holds the key to Nigeria’s recovery from recession.
He made the assertion at the World Youth Gathering, Holy Ghost Adoration Ground, Uke in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state.
The Nnewi-born billionaire said the problem of the country is not the economy, but its managers.
Recall that Ubah had in February this year boasted that he has what it takes to restore the naira to 200 against the dollar in one month, if consulted by Buhari.
Pointing out measures that the government needs to take to redress the current recession, the newspaper publisher said, “The only solution to Nigeria’s economic problems is one-addressing the cancer to our Forex which setting up 10 modular refineries can solve that problem. The second cancer that is affecting us is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“I said that I am going to bring down the dollars, I sought for consultations because in the past I have done so many things and at the end of the day, people took the glory. This is an issue that is very important to me. Government must understand that Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the World today said, ‘it’s not about academics, it’s about being streetwise.’
“Money-making is an art. There is nobody that can’t make money. It depends on how you design the art of how you want to make money. Now, let me give you an example today and let me also proffer a solution to Nigeria’s economic problems. “The biggest Forex consumer in Nigeria today, is the Petroleum Product (Downstream), of which I am the leader. Petroleum products take over 75 per cent of the Forex that Nigeria generates. Therefore, if you want to attack the difference between the Naira and the Dollar and of which no expert has been able to find out a solution, what you need to do is to find an alternative that you need to energize in Nigeria, so that the demand for Forex needed for the importation of petroleum products will crash.
“If you do that, you have taken away 75 per cent of that cancer that is taking away our dollars. And how do you do this? There’s what is called top-up refineries. Some top-up refineries can cost us as little as $200 million.
“I am the Chief Economist of this country, and I want to bring back the value of Naira; if I want to bring back life to the economy of Nigeria, what I need to do is to take up a bond from our reserve of $2 billion. If I am able to take a bond of $2 billion from our reserve, which is not money I am spending, but a bond, our money remains. And I can take this $2 billion and then share it among 10 companies. And In that 10 companies, I will create Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) of 10 oil marketers to one company.
“If you bring 10 oil marketers to run one company and government funding them for 10 years, it means that all of us will go there and bring the best of us to manage the company.
“Therefore, what we are going to do is create 10 companies along the whole water lines of Nigeria, and in six months time, we can now refine our crude oil here in Nigeria, instead of taking it abroad to refine. And by so doing, we don’t need to buy dollars anymore to import petroleum products. It means that we can now be refining our crude oil, using it to produce our own petroleum deeds.
“Petroleum product is one of the biggest factor today in this country. Without fuel, nobody can drive to Uke today. If there are students going on strike, government may show neglect. If doctors go on strike, government may neglect. But once there is a strike over fuel government will always run to see how it will stop the strike.
“We must understand that fuel is a critical factor in Nigeria. Because it’s a critical factor in Nigeria today, government is so fragile not to challenge the petroleum industry.
“This is very important and whoever is the Chief Economist of Nigeria must take this as the only solution. There is no other solution.
“This solution is coming today in the Adoration Ground and this is the first time I am saying it. That is the secret I said I need them (government) to consult me. But today, if they can translate it, they will know that Holy Ghost of Adoration Ground has revealed it,” Ubah said.