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It’s A Patriotic Shame To Continue Importation Of Petroleum Products,Obaseki Tells Fed Govt



— Charges Dangote On Ending Refinery Palaver


The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki,has told the federal government of Nigeria that it is a patriotic shame for her as a country and as one of the largest producers of crude oil in the world to continue importing its petroleum products.

Obaseki said as Nigeria is one of the largest producers of crude oil in the continent of Africa and as such, has no business importing fuel into the country.

Speaking on Sunday at Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State, at the 10-year remembrance service of Chief Jeremiah Ighodalo, father of the Chairman of Sterling Bank Plc, Dr. Asue Ighodaro,Governor Obaseki lamented over the age long fuel importation, said it is sad to have Nigeria in that shoe.

An event which was graced by notable personalities across board,among them were Edo state Governor,Godwin Obaseki and Wife,Betsy,Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, Mrs. Ifejinwa Ighodalo,Chairman, Alaghodaro Economic Summit LTD/GTE and Chairman, Sterling Bank Plc, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, and others.

“It’s not good enough that Nigeria is still importing fuel when we are one of the largest producers of crude oil in the continent. As a nation, we should not be importing fuel at this point in our life. It’s a patriotic shame borrowing from the words of Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adiche,” he said.

In the same vein,the President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote,assured the nation that the refinery hopefully will begin supply of products in 2023 in an effort to boost the downstream sector.

According to him “The refinery can provide petroleum products for the whole of Nigeria and some parts of West and Central Africa hopefully by 2023,” he noted.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery being put up at a cost of $19 billion and expected to be completed later this year, could partially solve the problem by refining the oil locally. The plant was initially meant to cost $9 billion when its construction began in 2015.

The refinery which is situated in Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, the refinery is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil and the world’s biggest single-train facility upon completion.

Some officials who were said to had spoken over the level of the project, said they have to hire 17,000 more workers to speed up completion this year, raising the workforce to 57,000 labourers.

Adding that the petroleum refinery complex will have a 650,000-barrel capacity and will process a variety of light and medium grades of crude, as well as the Euro-V quality clean fuels, including gasoline and diesel, and jet fuel and polypropylene.

The refinery is also projected to produce 50 million litres of petrol daily; and yearly production of 10.4 million tonnes of gasoline, 4.6 million tonnes of diesel, and 4 million tonnes of jet fuel a year.

Where it will have 0.69 million tonnes of polypropylene, 0.24 million tonnes of propane, 32,000 tonnes of Sulphur, and 0.5 million tonnes of carbon black feed.

Alhaji Dangote said to have earlier lamented on non-functional of all the refineries in the country at the 2022 Nigerian Content Midstream and Downstream Oil and Gas Summit in Lagos.

He said: “It makes me feel terrible to see a country as big and resourceful as Nigeria with a high population, importing all its petroleum products, so, we decided it is time to tackle this challenge.

“It is not government’s responsibility alone to address the challenge of petroleum products’ importation in Nigeria. No, we have to collaborate with the government to tackle the issue of petroleum importation.

“We should not as a country be comfortable with generating revenue from crude oil export alone, because tomorrow people may not need crude oil.

“If we do not move from crude oil to something else, we will have issues as a country. This is one of the things that I took upon myself to help address,” he said.

Obaseki in his remark,commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for selfless effort to erecting a refinery for the nation and tasked him on ending fuel importation into the country.