President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to reversing Nigeria’s status as a net importer of refined petroleum products, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said.
Sylva stated this on Wednesday after inspecting the first hydro-skimming private modular refinery being built by businessman, Dr. Azibapu Eruani in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The refinery, which has gone 75 per cent in construction, has the capacity to process 12, 000 barrels of crude per day.
Spokesperson for the company, Austin Ebipade, said the minister acknowledged that Azikel hydro-skimming refinery is a massive visionary and pragmatic quest to facilitate the Federal Government’s objectives towards attaining self-sufficiency in the production of refined products such as petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
According to the minister, the Azikel private refinery is important to Nigerians and the country’s search for economic prosperity.
The statement quoted the minister to have said: “The Azikel Refinery is set to actualise the ‘export’ of refined products from Bayelsa State to other states in the Nigerian federation, with daily production of 1.5 million litres of petrol, one million litres of diesel, 500,000 litres of kerosene and aviation fuel, thereby reversing of the stigma of Nigeria, the world’s fifth largest producer of crude oil being a net importer of refined products.”
The minister said the people-focused dream of President Buhari to industrialise the Niger Delta, boost infrastructural development and facilitate employment-creation was being dynamically actualised by the Azikel Refinery through the additional workforce and encouragement of hundreds of youth towards acquisition of vocational skills needed to fill paid and self-employment slots being rapidly created by the refinery.
He commended the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in the development of the project, as well as the participation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Total Nigeria and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for the supply of feedstock for the Azikel refinery.
Dr. Eruani, the President of Azikel Petroleum refinery, hailed Buhari for granting the company the license and pledged to “work assiduously towards actualising the Buhari administration’s objective of industrialising the nation, creating positive economic multipliers, including jobs for the youth and other Nigerians.”
According to him, “the Azikel Refinery is only a subsidiary that genuinely mirrors the patriotism and innovations of the Azikel Group.”