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Confusing FG’s statements on status of refineries worry Nigerians

A cross-session of Nigerians is beginning to nurse fears over the seeming contradictions in government’s position on the fate of all four national refineries.

In an interview, a petroleum engineer and commentator on industry issues, Mr. Bala Zaka, said “The government needs to tell all Nigerians the plans they have for all of them as soon as possible so that we can position our minds also.

He decried the height of back-and-front policy mechanism structure of the government on critical matters like petroleum resources management.

Another analyst on financial matters, Dr. Ken Igboanugo said “Because Nigerians raised alarm on the plans to sell some national assets at the onset of recession; government is now confused on what to do them. The clear divergent views momentarily presented by top government officials especially the Minister of State, for Petroleum is a clear indication that they are not ready to fix the refineries”.

“I was shocked when I read in the papers late last week where the Minister was saying that the coming on stream of Dangote refineries will rubbish national refineries. To me that is enough to sack him, because he has lost faith in the government he is serving.

Igboanugo said “Nigerians will hold Ibe Kachikwu responsible if our refinances truly become scraps when Dangote refineries begin operations in 2019 as he said”.

“Somebody may rely on that comment and accuse him of asset striping on the refineries because saying that the refineries will be scrap mean that some strategic parts may be moved to the other side after all.

Apart from expert’s views, ordinary Nigerians are more disturbed when the same Minister that said refineries will become scraps, only Thursday, the same minister and board chairman od NNPC said the Port Harcourt Refining Company is set to commence the production of Aviation Turbine Kerosene, popularly known as aviation fuel or JetA1, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said.

The Managing Director, PHRC, Dr. Bafred Enjugu, disclosed this in a presentation he made to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, during an official tour of the 210,000 barrels per day facility.

Enjugu said the refinery had met all the international parameters for the production of aviation fuel.

A statement from the NNPC on Friday quoted his as saying that “the good news from our stand point is that we have scored 24 out of the 24 parameters for the production of aviation fuel and I must say that this is made possible because of the never-give-up attitude of workers of the great PHRC.”

Enjugu said the refinery had successfully blended ATK and was only waiting for appropriate conditions to commence full scale production of the product in response to demand of the aviation sector.

Baru, according to the statement, described PHRC as the nation’s flagship refining company, noting that the corporation would do everything possible to ensure that the refinery was not just in operation but also operating profitably and contributing effectively to meeting local demand for petroleum products.

He said, “We cannot under-estimate the importance of refining because that is our identity and we shall do whatever it takes to ensure that your two plants are running at all times and work to tackle whatever could militate against your achieving set targets and objectives.”