Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has boasted that no government in Nigeria has been able to bring modular refineries into reality like President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday during a tour of the Waltersmith Modular Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company Limited which is due for commissioning next month in Ibigwe, Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area, Imo State.
He described the coming into being of modular refineries in the country as the result of the enabling environment created by the Buhari-led administration.
“We can show Nigerians that while every government has been talking about modular refineries, no government has succeeded in turning the dream into reality until now,” he said.
Mohammed said with the coming on board of medium-scale refineries like Waltersmith, Nigerians will soon experience cheaper petroleum products.
“With this kind of refinery, all issues of subsidy become completely irrelevant because we would be able to get fuel at a cheaper price, especially because everything that is being produced will be for local consumption.”
The Minister lauded the partnership between the Waltersmith Refinery and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board that holds a 30% stake in the refinery which will start with 5,000bpd, add 25,000bpd in the second stage and then another 20,000bpd to bring the capacity to 50,000bpd in the third and final phase.
He said the Administration will continue to showcase its monumental achievements because it has performed well in the execution of projects across the country.
“I am glad we are here today blowing our trumpet because we have created an enabling environment for this project,” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote said the Board believes that at least 10% of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined through the modular refineries, because of its capacity to generate employment.
“With an average of ten direct jobs created for every 1,000 barrels per day capacity of a modular refinery, we believe that about 2,500 direct jobs and over 25,000 indirect jobs can be created if 10% of Nigeria’s production is refined using modular refineries,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Waltersmith Modular Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company Limited, Abdulrazaq Isa, said from 14 October 2020, 23 trucks will commence the loading of products such as Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil and Naphtha from the refinery.
“What we are doing is in support of government initiative and this is coming at the right time as the government is deregulating the market.
”We really support the government policy on deregulation and removal of subsidies because it creates a market for what we are doing.”