Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said that contrary to expectations in certain quarters, the proposed modular refineries in the Delta region of the country would not bridge the petrol supply deficit Nigeria is currently experiencing.
Kachikwu, who briefed alongside his counterparts in Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment and Water Resources, spoke to State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He explained that the modular refineries would essentially address the menace of illegal crude oil refining rampant in the Niger Delta, while saving the environment and providing more legal opportunities for the youth of the area.
Kachikwu pointed out that Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petrol would be adequately checked by fixing the existing four refineries to full production capacity by 2019 as well as the upcoming Dangote Refinery in Lagos, the proposed Nigeria/Niger joint refinery and another private refinery under construction.
According to him, “modular refinery wasn’t supposed to provide a sufficient solution to your product needs, as they are on the average between 2,000 and 5,000, maybe 10,000 at most capacity per refinery; your consumption is about 630,000 barrels per day. That is not the essence of modular. What modular was supposed to do for us is provide work within some of these communities where people are busy doing illegal refining; it’s not meant to address the refining product gap we have in the country. We are hoping that those gaps will be covered by a mixture of the three or four refineries that government owns currently – Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna and of course, the Dangote Refinery of 600 barrels.”