THE EDUCATOR - January 27

Is Shame no Nigerian refinery performing up to 50% says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said it was disgraceful that no Nigerian refinery could perform up to 50 per cent of their installed capacities.

He said during his first coming as a military Head of State, all the nation’s refineries were working.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke when he received a delegation from Eni, led by the Chief Upstream Officer, Mr. Antonio Vella, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari stated that apart from satisfying the demand of the local market, Nigeria was also exporting equivalent of 100,000 barrels of refined product during his first coming.

He said, “In my first coming, all our refineries were working. Port Harcourt used to refine 60,000 barrels per day, and it was later upgraded to 100,000 barrels. Kaduna and Warri were also working optimally, and we used to satisfy the demand of the local market. We equally exported 100,000 barrels of refined petrol.

“Now, no refinery is performing up to 50 per cent. It is a disgraceful thing.”

The President disclosed that income accruing to the country from rising oil prices in the international market would be spent on infrastructural development.

He said extra funds outside the provision of the year 2018 budget “will be deployed to infrastructure projects like roads, rail and power for the good of our people and for the development of the country.”

The 2018budget is predicated by the Executive on $45 per barrel, but the Senate adjusted it to $47 per barrel.

Oil prices, however, rose to $70 per barrel this week.

Buhari also appreciated Eni for its upcoming investments in the oil industry, including the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery and the building of a new one.

The leader of the Eni delegation, Vella, said his organisation had presented a technical proposal to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery.

He noted that the firm had also done a feasibility study on a new refinery of up to 150,000 barrels per day capacity.

Vella stated, “Site selection has been completed and 50 new graduates have already arrived in Italy for a training that will last seven months.”