The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday, said while previous administrations talked about modular refineries, but only President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has succeeded in ensuring its establishment.
The minister, who stated this at the pre-commissioning inspection of the Waltersmith’s 5000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refinery located in Ohaji-Egbema in Imo, described the coming into being of modular refineries in the country as the result of the enabling environment created by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“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.
Alhaji 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,” he said.
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.
Lai Mohammed 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.
The minister, with his entourage, as well as Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and some members of the National Assembly, were taken on a tour of the refinery, one of many of its type that are in different stages of completion in the country.
The refinery is believed to at least refine 10% of Nigeria’s oil production and also 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. It is also expected to provide about 2,500 direct jobs and over 25,000 indirect jobs.
The refinery will commence the loading of 23 trucks with product such as Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil and Naphtha from 14 October, 2020.