By Michael Eboh
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to ending fuel importation in the next couple of months, by encouraging investments in local refining of crude oil.
Speaking during an inspection of the first hydro-skimming private modular refinery, being built in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, by Azikel Petroleum Refinery, owned by businessman, Dr. Azibapu Eruani.
In a statement by the company, Sylva said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to reversing Nigeria’s status as a net importer of refined petroleum products to a net exporter in the coming years, adding that the refinery was important to Nigerians and the country’s search for economic prosperity.
He stated that the refinery, which was about 75 per cent completed, has the capacity to process 12, 000 barrels of crude per day.
Sylva noted that the 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).
He 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.”
ALSO READ: Video of Kashamu reportedly asking Kessington ‘Baba Ijebu’ for forgiveness on his sickbed surfaces
The minister further stated that the people-focused dream of President Buhari to industrialise the Niger Delta, boost infrastructural development and facilitate employment-creation was been dynamically actualised by the Azikel Refinery through the additional workforce and encouragement of hundreds of youth towards the 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.
Also speaking, President of Azikel Petroleum Refinery, Dr. Azibapu Eruani commended the Federal Government for granting the company the license to build the refinery.
He pledged to work assiduously towards actualising the government’s objective of industrialising the nation, creating positive economic multipliers, including jobs for the youth and other Nigerians.
He said, “The Azikel Refinery is only a subsidiary that genuinely mirrors the patriotism and innovations of the Azikel Group.”