Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that the newly constructed modular refinery in Imo State is a source of employmento opportunitiesfor indigenes of the State.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari said this on Tuesday during the virtual commissioning of Watersmith’s 5,000 barrels per day (BPD) modular refinery and ground breaking for the 45,000 bpd refinery at Ibigwe Field, Ohaji Egbema Council, Area, Imo State.
The President noted that the refinery was an important part of the economic reform of his administration, which Nigeria was undergoing at present.
He declared that the setting up of the refinery created thousands of direct and indirect jobs opportunities in the downstream subsector.
The President expressed happiness as he congratulated the citizens of Ohaji Egbema and Imo State, saying that the refinery would bring prosperity and economic development to them.
In the same vein, President Buhari charged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to endeavour give to Watersmith and other modular refineries in Nigeria crude oil so as to enable them operate optimally.
The President further ordered all other agencies in the sector not to starve the modular refineries of all resources including condensate for there operations.
He explained that the modular refineries construction was in line with the administration’s four key policy roadmap initiative in 2019 towards reducing importation of petroleum products.
The President, during the occasion hinted that the modular refinery in Ohaji Egbema is biggest in the country.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma lauded the project, stating that the refinery is the first ever indigenous refinery in Nigeria and first to be sited in the State as well.
While congratulating Watersmith for its spirited efforts in changing the narrative from public sector driven to private sector driven economy, the governor noted that previous administrations since 1999 even though had granted license for individuals to establish refineries but never saw the light of the day.
“It took the sincere determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to make local refineries.
“President Buhari is simply working the talk as a man providing visionary leadership for the country. He’s making Nigeria great again.
“Buhari is making deliberate attempt at creating jobs.
“This is one of such attempts and this will help the nation cut down importation of petroleum products,” Uzodinma said.
He, however, urged the federal government to always supply the modular refinery raw materials, stressing the State government will do everything within its capability to protect the investment.
Uzodinma also appealed to oil organisations operating in the State not to cut corners in order to avoid hostilities from host communities.
According to him; “oil companies should be alive to their cooperate social responsibilities and ensure that all the rules of engagement are adhered to.
“We thank Watersmith for creating a value chain by building a refinery, industrial cluster and electricity within the host community”.
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