The Minister of State for Petroleum Resourses, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that President, Muhammadu Buhari led administration is committed to putting an end to the importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria.
Sylva said the government was working to reverse Nigeria’s status as a net importer of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, and as such had been supporting the establishment of modular refineries to boost indigenous PMS production.
The minister stated this after inspecting the Azikel Hydro-Skimming Refinery, the first hydro-skimming private modular refinery being built by businessman, Azibapu Eruani in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The refinery, which is about 75 per cent completed, has the capacity to process 12,000 barrels of crude per day.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the spokesperson for the company, Austin Ebipade, Sylva said the modular refinery would facilitate the Federal Government’s objectives towards attaining self-sufficiency in the production of refined products.
Nigeria currently imports refined petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and liquified petroleum gas.
According to the minister, the Azikel refinery was important to Nigerians and the country’s search for economic prosperity.
He was quoted in the statement as saying, “The Azikel Refinery is set to actualise the ‘export’ of refined products from Bayelsa State to other states in the Nigerian federation.
“It comes with a daily production of 1.5 million litres of petrol, one million litres of diesel, 500,000 litres of kerosene and aviation fuel.
“It will thereby reverse the stigma on Nigeria, the world’s fifth largest producer of crude oil being a net importer of refined products.”
Sylva commended the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board for the development of the project, as well as the participation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
Others include Total Nigeria and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria for the supply of feedstock for the Azikel refinery.
Eruani, who is the President, Azikel Petroleum Refinery, pledged to work assiduously towards actualising the government’s objective of industrialising the nation.