The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday said the modular refineries being planned for the Niger Delta were not meant to address fuel scarcity.
According to him, the idea behind the proposed refineries is to provide jobs for those currently engaged in illegal refining in some communities in the region.
Kachikwu said these during a post-Federal Executive Council meeting press conference at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He stated, “Modular refineries are not supposed to provide a sufficient solution to your product needs. Modular refineries are on the average between 2,000 and 5,000, maybe 10,000 barrels at most capacity per refinery; your consumption is about 630,000 barrels per day.
“That is not the essence of modular. What modular is 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.”
Kachikwu pointed out that Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petrol would be adequately checked by fixing the existing four refineries to full production capacities by 2019 as well as the upcoming Dangote Refinery in Lagos, the proposed Nigeria/Niger joint refinery and another private refinery under construction.
“We are hoping that those gaps will be covered by a mixture of the three or four refineries that the government owns currently, Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna; and of course, the Dangote refinery of 600 barrels,” he said.
The minister also explained that the government decided to go the way of Public Private Partnership when it was clear that there was no money to fix the nation’s refineries.
He added, “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 and we had to raise the money looking into the PPP model.
“It has to go through a process; the technical committee is headed by the NNPC. Obviously, they submit their report to the board when they complete their work; so, from a governance and guidance 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 the NNPC handle.
“It is not the job of the ministry to superimpose; you’ve got to let them do their work and do it efficiently.”
Meanwhile, the FEC approved the upward review of the contract sum for the completion of the Jare earth dam in Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State from N3.7bn to N9bn.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, explained that the project was abandoned for 12 years and some of the work had deteriorated, but it was now expected to be completed in 36 months.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, said he presented a review of the activities under his supervision from 2015 to date, which included 17 projects spanning water, rail and infrastructure.
He stated that FEC approved a new contract of N112.43m for infrastructure works in the new Kasana district designed for mass housing projects, adding that the FCT Administration intends to partner professional bodies in the building sector to monitor compliance with mass housing regulations by developers.
Bello added that a test-run of trains within Abuja city would commence in the next couple of weeks.