President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that it would be dishonest for him to take credit for the imminent commencement of operation of one of the Port Harcourt refineries. This is contrary to the widespread rumour especially on the social media that the refinery immediately sprung back to life as a result of the election of the President.
In a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) interview anchored by Mrs. Omotayo Omotosho which has been placed on YouTube, President Buhari pointedly refused to take credit for the repair of the refinery.
His words: “I can’t take credit for revival of the refineries as I have no input to it. If I say I had a hand, it will be dishonest if I do”
It would be recalled that recently, the Spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Ohi Alegbe stated the nation’s refineries will soon be operational.
Mr. Alegbe said the turnaround maintenance of the refineries, which he said began in November 2014, was being undertaken by NNPC’s in-house engineers.
“We had to resort to in-house engineers after the original builders of the refineries, who were called in to do the job, kept coming up with outrageous bills,” he said.
He said parts of the problems with the Port Harcourt refineries had to do with lack of electricity to power the facility.
“We have now installed a mini power plant to solve that problem,” the NNPC spokesperson said.
The return of the refineries will however not put an end to fuel importation in the country.
Mr. Alegbe said even when the four refineries operate at full capacity, they would only be able to cumulatively refine 19 million litres of petrol per day.
Nigeria, he said, consumes 40 million litres of petrol per day.
“As you can see, that leaves us with a balance of 21 million litres per day, and we will still have to rely on importation to make up for that deficit,” Mr. Alegbe said.