The Nigerian Vice President and Chairman of National Economic Council, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has declared that the days of fuel crisis occasioned by the nebulous activities of Independent Marketers of petroleum products are numbered. Reacting to the lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), also known as petrol, at most fuel stations across the country, Osinbajo revealed that ten modular refineries are bound to commence operations by 2018 in line with the government’s economic plan to end the regime of importation of refined petroleum products like PMS, DPK (Kerosene) and AGO (Diesel).
In a statement recently released by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the Vice President disclosed that the 10 modular refineries are located in five out of the nine states in the Niger Delta region; namely Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo states. According to Osinbajo, two out of the 10 – Amakpe Refinery (Akwa Ibom), and OPAC Refinery (Delta State) – have their mini-refineries modules already fabricated, assembled and containerized overseas, ready for shipment to Nigeria for installation.
The total proposed refining capacities of the 10 licensed refineries stands at 300,000 barrels which has an equivalent of 24 million liters of PMS. Meanwhile, the daily volume of PMS consumed by Nigerians on a daily basis is between 30 to 35 million liters, the bulk of which is imported since the four refineries owned by the government collapsed several years ago.
The Vice President believes the modular refinery initiative which featured prominently in recent talks between the Federal Government and the oil-producing areas, as represented by PANDEF, will also reposition the petroleum industry and ensure self-sufficiency of petroleum products while serving as a disincentive for illegal refineries and oil pollution..
The plan to ensure the end of the regime of fuel importation is considered one of the three key strategies of the Buhari’s administration to win the electorates as the build-up to the 2019 general elections intensify.
The two other major areas of priority in the 2018 fiscal plan are the power sector and rail transportation which the country requires to bridge the huge infrastructure deficits presently plaguing it. Recall that the Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola, had disclosed at the last Monthly meeting of the power industry operators, held at Geregu Power Plant in Kogi State, that an additional 1000MW of generation capacity is expected to come on stream by 2018. This added capacity is expected from ten new power plants namely Azura, Kaduna, Afam, Guarara, Kashimbilla, and five other power stations under the Mational Integrated Power Project.