…As Okubo Attributes Completion of Project To President Buhari’s Stance

By Francis Sadhere

Minister of state for Petroleum and Group Managing Director, Nigeria Nation Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has assured Nigerian that pipelines vandalism and fuel scarcity in the country will soon be a thing of the past as crude is now pumped directly from Escravos to Warri refinery and Bony to Port Harcourt refinery through deep water pipelines.

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

Dr. Kachikwu gave this assurance while  commissioning the first privately built multibillion naira crude oil pipe line that now convey crude oil directly to Warri refinery from Esacrovos.

Speaking at the ceremony in Warri, Delta state, Dr. Kachikwu said with the underwater crude pipeline, it would be difficult to vandalize the pipeline which in turn would not disrupt access to crude to the refineries.

According to him, one of the problems why the refineries have not been producing at optimal capacity was because of the incessant vandalism of pipelines and the use of marine vessels.

He said, “With this initiative, Warri refinery will have regular regular supply crude. Same thing PortHarcourt refinery which will also be supplied through the Bonny”, Kachikwu stressed, adding that with this, the three refineries would have refined petroleum products, thus elimination scarcity of the products.”

Speaking with journalist at the event, Chairman, Ocean Marine Solution, Captain Hosa Okunbo, attributed the completion of the multi-billion naira project to PresidentMuhammadu Buhari’s stance to bringing total reform in the oil and gas sector noting that this is first time in the last 10 years that crude will bedelivered to the Warri refinery through pipe-lines.

Okunbor who disclosed that that his firm is also delivery a similar project betweenBonny and Porthacourt refinery, expressed strong confidence thatwith three refineries Warri, Porthacourt and Kaduna) refining petroleum, the scarcity ofthe petroleum industry products would soon be a thing of the past.

He said, “Today, we are very glad that for the first time over ten years we are able to deliver the crude line between Esacrovos and Warri and crude is now flowing through the pipeline which wa impossibility over the years. We thank God, you saw the minister, therefinery people were glad , NNPC were rejoicing and we as a company is also rejoicing for what God has used us to do. For me,  am so glad because sometimes there are certain things you achieve that is more than money. We have created serious value for this county using our own resources.

“As I speak to you there is no contract in place because in our industry there is  something you call proof of concept. In our company we believe that everything is possible when you have the will, there must be a way and that is what we have achieved today. We thank God for the new leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. His face has saved the pipeline because he is a no nonsense man unlike before.

“The community are able to cooperate with us. We used carrot and stick approach and our security surveillance and also the contract of actually doing the job and replacing the contract. It was very tedious and sometime we almost got killed and threat to our lives which inform why you see all these security around us. We have put our lives online to deliver Esacrovos, we have also deliver Bonny to Porthacourt and today there is crude in Porthacourt that is flowing to the refinery and the same thing with Warri refinery.

“As a company it was a big gamble to do this. We spent billions without penny from NNPC but today we have cured the problem. A lot of people did not understand, some wrote petitions that we were given contract, at a point my name was going to be soiled and I believe in my name. Am a role model to my family and the people on the street and that is what gave the will to deliver this. He noted.