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For anxious Nigerians and industry stakeholders attending the ongoing 3rd Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, it was total confusion when the Group Managing Director, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari said ‘Our refineries must come back’ without any form of who and when they will come.
Business Hilights recalls that revival of the four moribund refineries form key electoral promises of President Muhammadu Buhari even in his first term, but today, the second term is about to hit one year, there had been no clear direction on the revival plans of the refineries.
Rather, the GMD was apparently busy decrying before participants on how the Corporation has continued importation of petroleum products into the country upon it’s over $20bn assets worldwide.
Kyari described the corporation as the largest in Africa, saying, “We have assets that are in excess of $20bn. We have opportunities that we share with our partners.
He recalled that “This country can provide energy for the whole of Africa. As we all know, 90 per cent of the petroleum products consumed in Africa are imported, and that must stop. And to do this, Nigeria must work. Our refineries must come back, and that is what we are doing.”
Participants had expected further explanations on how ‘Our refineries must come back’ according to him so as to be on the same page of ‘hope’.
It would be recalled that the GMD had while taking over from his predecessor, Dr Maikanti Baru assured Nigerians that “Nigeria shall start exporting refined petroleum products before 2023.”
But checks and assessments showed that not much repairs are going on across the four refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Warri and Elene near Port Harcourt, thus suggesting that the inaugural promise of the GMD may rather be another hoax.
Statistics at the emerging 650,000bpd Dangote Refinery Lekki in Lagos show that the NNPC boss had visited and congratulated the private sector spirit driving the scheme, but never toured all the four moribund refineries since his appointment mid last year.
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