By Adejumo Enock
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has assured that Nigeria will soon become net exporter of petroleum products.
The President made the pledge on Tuesday in Owerri when he vitually commissioned Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State.
The President in series of tweets in his verified twitter handle @MBuhari said that the refinery with 50,000 daily refining capacity is part of the agenda on the Petroleum Sector Roadmap drafter in 2018.
The President said, “This afternoon I virtually commissioned the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, in fulfillment of our Refinery Roadmap. I am pleased to note that work is now commencing on expansion of the capacity of the refinery to 50,000 barrels per day”.
He said, after the realization of the Refinery Roadmap rolled out in 2018, Nigeria will become a worldwide exporter of petroleum products. Adding that the Roadmap has four key elements namely, Rehabilitation of existing refineries, Greenfield refineries, Co-location and Modular Refining.
Furthermore, Buhari said, “I am delighted that the Waltersmith Refinery is coming on-stream within two years of the commencement of the Roadmap, and after many years of granting licenses for the establishment of modular refineries with nothing to show for it”.
At a recent pre-commissioning visit to the refinery, Yusuf Usman, Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, Waltersmith, speaking on the success of the refinery, stated that “It is a landmark achievement and it shows that we can actually refine our crude oil in-country.”
Usman noted that the modular refinery has a crude oil storage capacity of 60,000 barrels and is projected to deliver over 271 million liters per annum of refined petroleum products which include Kerosene, Diesel, Naphtha and Heavy Fuel Oils to the domestic market.
The event was graced by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and the Minister of State, Petroleum that cut the tape on behalf of the President.
Others are the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote and the Chairman of WalterSmith, Abdulrazaq Isa and other stakeholders.