‘Nigeria will soon become Africa’s hub of refined oil export’

The Chairman of Skymark Energy and Power Ltd, Muhammad Saleh Hassan, has expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon hit limelight as Africa’s hub of refined oil export.

Hassan stated this in a chat with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend while shedding light on the current state of the NNPC Ltd and the Nigerian refineries.

He premised the glimmer of hope on the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to rebuild the refineries
in Port Harcourt, Warrior and Port Harcourt as well as Dangote refinery being built in Lekki, Lagos.

“With the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government in not just refurbishing but rebuilding the three refineries in the country in Port Harcourt, Warrior and Kaduna, they would certainly begin to operate in full swing and fulfill the yearnings of the populace. It is expected that by 2023/2024, Nigeria would become Africa’s hub of refined petroleum products. This is the direction of NNPC Limited and it is focused on this feat which is achievable,” he said.

“For the first time under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Malam Mele Kyari as the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) the oil sector is witnessing a massive turn around. This is being expressed through their proactive and meticulous professional efforts in transmogrifying the NNPC to a limited and profit-oriented company,” Hassan stressed.

He added: “It is interesting to note that the corporation’s new business-inclined status had seen it declare profit which has also gone a long way in ensuring stability of the company and also contributing massively to the nation’s economic growth.”

He also flayed the flak in the public domain that trillions of naira being expended on fuel subsidy and refurbishment of Nigerian refineries were a cheer waste of funds.

“For the first time, the three refineries in the country in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have witnessed some measures of stability, compared to the past administrations when they were in a comma with attendant perennial crisis in the nation’s oil sector. But currently, all the refineries have been functioning consistently due to some degrees of turn around maintenance inspired by the Buhari-led administration as well as Kyari’s leadership as the NNPC Limited’s helmsman,” Hassan noted.

“NNPC Limited has been completely turned around by Buhari’s administration as well as Malam Kyari as its GMD, through the strong synergy between them. In other words, the insinuations in the public domain that refurbishment of Nigerian refineries is a cheer waste of public funds due to past failures do not hold waters. What NNPC Limited and the Federal Government are doing is not just refurbishment but rebuilding of the refineries,” Hassan stressed.

“Obviously, 21st century technology and expertise are being put in place by the current leadership by Buhari and Kyari to achieve the purpose. So, Nigerians should put the worries of the past behind and look forward to new development being inspired by the current government’s concern and sincerity.

“People should cross-check their facts before making insinuations. Malam Kyari had gone on inspection of the work overtime and expressed satisfaction on it. By the end of this or next year, the refineries would begin to function in full capacity. He is on top of the situation and I am sure that his name would be written in gold by the time his efforts materialize.

“Therefore, Nigerians should rest, assured that the failure of the past would soon become the success of the present. This is because there is a difference in leadership and expertise, which shows that what has failed to work over the years can now begin to work. This is because there is a new sheriff in town.

“Whatever pains that Nigerians are passing through now is a matter of time. As it is now, it is a no pain, no gain situation.

While speaking further on the economic prospects of Dangote Refinery being built in Lagos, the Skymark Energy boss said: “There are indications that NNPC Limited has about 20 percent stake at Dangote refineries being built in Lekki, Lagos. It is Nigeria’s crude oil that shall be channeled there for refining. By the time all the three Nigerian refineries and Dangote’s refinery synergise, Nigeria would no longer export crude oil to foreign countries to be refined and brought back to us at exorbitant prices. Refining will be done locally here to inspire affordable and stable oil price. Importation of refined oil shall become a thing of the past. As I said earlier, very soon, Nigeria would become Africa’s hub of refined oil products and relied on by other African countries. This is a legacy that Buhari’s administration and Kyari’s leadership at the NNPC Limited would be remembered for. So, I encourage Nigerians to be patient as better days are ahead for us in the oil sector. Interestingly too, huge employments would be generated for Nigerians when all the refineries are fully put in place.

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