–Says Modular refineries can’t solve petrol supply deficit
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Government, Wednesday said that the sack of the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson who was in Nigeria on Monday by President Donald Trump will not in any way have any negative effect on Nigeria as government is continuum.
This is as the government has said that the establishment of the proposed modular refineries in Niger Delta region will not make any meaningful impact on the shortage of petroleum products in the country.
Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama said, “Rex Tillerson sack won’t affect (Nigeria) because government is a continuum as we all know.
“When he came it was the United States that was speaking and clearly we expect that with every expectation that everything he has said as regards US/Nigeria relations reflects the position of the United States, reflects the position of the president of the United States, so we don’t see any change happening.”
Also briefing on the proposed modular refineries to be established in Delta and Rivers States, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said 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 opportunist for the youth of the area.
He pointed out that Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petrol would be adequately checked by refurbishing existing four refineries to full production capacity by 2019 as well the oncoming Dangote Refinery in Lagos, the proposed Nigeria/Niger joint refinery and another private refinery under construction.
According to him, “As a seasoned professional I have given all the guidance that is required to fix the refineries, we came into a situation where we don’t have money to fix the refineries we had to raise the money looking into the PPP model, it has to go through a process.
“The technical committee is headed by NNPC, obviously they will submit their report to the board when they complete their work. So, from a governance and guidance sense, steering point of view, I think that steering is right on track, from a management of the technical aspect of the contracting, that is something we would have to allow NNPC handle, it is not the job of the ministry to superimpose, you got to let them do their work and do it efficiently.
“On modular refineries; modular wasn’t supposed to provide a sufficient solution to your product needs, modulars are on the average between 2000 and 5000 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.”
Meanwhile, the FEC approved the upward review of the contract sum for completion of Jare earthdam in Bakori local council of Katsina State from N3.7 billion to N9 billion.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, explained that the project was abandoned for 12 years and some of the work have deteriorated but it is noe expected to be completed in 36 months.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mohammed Bello, reviewed for FEC the activities under his supervision from 2015 to date, which include 17 projects spanning water, rail, infrastructure.
He announced a new contract of N112.43 millions for infrastructure works in new Kasana district designed for mass housing projects, adding that the FCT intends to partner with professional bodies in the building sector to monitor compliance with mass housing regulations by developers.
Test-run of trains within Abuja city would commence in the next couple of weeks, he stated.