The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has called for sustained encouragement owing to the remarkable pace of work at the Azikel Refinery site, even as it lauded the President of Azikel Group, Dr Azibapu Eruani, for having achieved 65 per cent completion on the phase I, II and III stages.
This, the Group Managing Director, represented by Shehu Malami, Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, said at the foundation laying of the Azikel Refinery performed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Yenagoa.
He shared the optimism that the refinery construction would be
completed soon to begin onward dispensing of refined petroleum product to the public.
According to him, works on the perimeter fencing, loading gantry, security unit and the administrative building has attained appreciable level of completion; the core refining modules of the ISBL fabricated in Houston, USA would be freight on skid and coupled at the refinery site.
He pointed that the 12, 000 barrel per stream day (bpsd) hydro-skimming refinery would produce petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, LPG and heavy fuel oil.
The GMD, however, lauded the signing of the certificate of occupancy of the Azikel Refinery and Azikel Power Project acquired land by state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson witnessed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his humble self.
He noted that of the 22 refinery licences granted by President Muhammadu Buhari, Azikel Refinery is in the forefront of ensuring that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in petroleum products.
The GMD pledged that NNPC will continue to support the project towards completion and lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the policy towards improving production of refined petroleum product to ensure availability in all parts of the country.
â€œI am optimistic that the combine effort of the NNPC and output from private refineries would impact positively on capacity and improved production of petroleum product in the country.â€
Malami emphasised that the Azikel refinery is well poised to meet the mandate of increase refining capacity, even as he noted that Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from the initiative.
He reasoned that net exportation of petroleum product target would be met in 2019; and that more Greenfield refinery would make Nigeria a dependable economy, even as he noted that sequel to the synergy with the private refineries, particularly the Azikel Refinery Nigeria the hydra-headed problem of fuel scarcity, long vehicular queues and importation, as well as unemployment would end soon.
To this end, he however congratulated the Group President of Azikel Group for building a new private refinery and prayed that the laudable steps taken and work done would motivate and serve as a veritable roadmap for others to join in the onerous task of industrializing the nation on the part of economic recovery.