President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday said the establishment of modular refineries in the country will make petroleum products available in the country and eliminate importation.

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), disclosed that President Buhari spoke at the virtual inauguration of the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, as well as the Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Phase-2 works to expand the capacity of the refinery to 50,000 barrels/day.m, on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

President Buhari said the deployment of modular refineries was one of the four key elements of his administration’s Refinery Roadmap rolled out in 2018, adding that its implementation will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products.

He expressed delight that Waltersmith refinery in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State was coming on stream within two years of the commencement of the Roadmap, after many years of granting licenses for the establishment of modular refineries with nothing to show for it.

”Furthermore, there is increased momentum in the other three focus areas under the Roadmap covering the Rehabilitation of existing refineries, Co-location of new refineries, and Construction of greenfield refineries.

”The realization of the Refinery Roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighbouring countries but to the worldwide market.

”This modular refinery is the largest commissioned modular refinery in the country today.

”The role played by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in going into collaboration with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is novel in concept and superb in delivery,” he said.

The President described plans to commence the expansion of the capacity of the refinery to 50,000 barrels per day to refine crude oil and condensates as an important part of economic reforms the country is undergoing.

”I look forward to seeing this new phase completed within the target timeframe,” he said.

President Buhari, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), NNPC, as well as all relevant Government Agencies to provide Waltersmith Company all the necessary support to access crude oil and condensate feedstock for the timely delivery of the additional capacity.

In line with his administration’s agenda on jobs creation, the President said he was pleased to note that hundreds of direct and indirect jobs were created during the construction of the first phase of the project in addition to the various business opportunities.

Equally, he expressed hope that the construction of the second phase of the project will create bigger additional employment opportunities.

President Buhari thanked the local community and the people of Imo State for hosting the refinery, which, he stressed, will bring prosperity and economic development to the area.

The President commended the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Chairman and members of the Governing Council, and the management and staff of the Nigerian Content Development Board for making the public-private partnership a success.

He also commended the Chairman, Board, Management and Staff of Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Limited for their professionalism and focus in getting the project completed.

Governor Hope Uzodimma

Commenting on the historic commissioning, Governor Hope Uzodimma, writing on his verified social media Facebook page said:

Nigeria and Imo State, in particular have today, achieved a historic milestone as President Muhammadu Buhari Commissioned the first ever Modular Refinery in Nigeria sited in Imo State, with production capacity put at 5000 Barrels Per Day.

As a Government and people, we are delighted at this feat.

I commend the oil giant, Waltersmith Group for successfully building the privately owned Modular Refinery with a program plan to expand to 50,000 Barrels per day.

The Facility is designed to produce 207 million liters of petroleum products annually, according to Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, the Chairman, Waltersmith Group, with 5 million liters of Petroleum products already delivered into the Nigerian economy.

I commend them also for leading the way in changing the narrative from a public sector driven economy to private sector driven.

However, I admonish the firm to ensure that the community in which they operate continues to have a feel of their presence through an effective coperate-social responsibility scheme .

Furthermore, I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination to change the narrative of the oil industry for the better by ensuring private sector participation in driving the economy to make Nigeria better.

President Buhari in his address disclosed that the 5000 BPD represents one of the 4 key elements of the oil sector reform road map rolled out in 2018 which addresses the challenges in the down stream sector to meet the local needs and eliminate importation of petroleum products.

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State (m) Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva (l) and Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman, WalterSmith Group, cutting the tape of the project, on behalf of the President at the event

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and the Minister of State, Petroleum, cut the tape on behalf of the President at the event which was also attended by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote and the Chairman of WalterSmith, Abdulrazaq Isa.

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