The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, has appealed to the federal government to take practical measures to end importation of petroleum products into the country.
The Ijaw youths said it was disheartening that the government spent whooping N19trillion on importation of refined petroleum products into the country.
Describing it as capital flight and the sum of money involved in the transactions as heartbreaking, IYC said it remained an economic blunder for the government to continue lacking capacity to refine crude oil.
The IYC in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Alfred Kemepado, said the body wept after reading the revelation contained in a publication of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
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Kemepado said the publication disclosed that the federal government spent about $54.6bn that is N19trn, importing refined petroleum products into the country.
He said the Niger Delta was the biggest loser in the transactions following failures by the government to set up modular refineries in the region.
Kemepado said if the federal government had lived up to its promise of setting up modular refineries, it would have helped to retain the money in the economy of the Niger Delta and the country.
Speaking in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, the activist expressed his displeasure over what he described as the financial recklessness of the federal government, adding that the lost money would have created many jobs and repositioned the battered economy.
He said it smacked of insincerity on the part of the government to continue to play politics with key decisions required to grow and develop the Niger Delta and the country
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