Why We Couldn’t Deliver Refineries To Nigerians — Ex-Oil Minister, Dr Kachikwu
Dr Ibe Kachukwu, Buhari’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said on the 10th of May, 2016 that the Federal Government of Nigeria was committed into building more refineries to curtail the incessant fuel crisis in the country, and provide empowerment for Nigerians.
“As part of strategies to end the fuel crisis, new refineries will soon be built. The new refineries, when fully operational, will enable Nigeria to export petroleum resources to other countries”, he was quoted as saying during a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information in Kaduna on that day. Buhari himself also made the promise in the run up to the 2015 Presidential elections.
However the administration Kachikwu served in came to a close on the 29th of May, 2019, three years after he (Kachikwu) made the initial promise and four years after the then APC Presidential candidate made the pledge, without having a single refinery built in the country.
The former minister in a recent interview with Punch Newspaper, admitted the government failure in this regards, when asked about the inability to meet up with his earlier promise, giving different excuses why no single oil refinery was built.
It is one area where I think we did not deliver the mandate and I am bold enough to say that. Recently, I think I saw something like ‘Kachikwu failed to deliver on his five promises on refineries’. I think it is a misunderstanding of how the system works. I started within as Group Managing Director and also as Minister of State at that point; most of the powers and work were centered on me. If you look at the refineries, the first problem we had was that they were not functioning when I assumed office in 2015 and because of the huge apparent fuel scarcity; it was a major problem for me if I had to wait for vessels to arrive each time to meet the delivery timeline. These were the problems. So I was focused on how to get them working, at least to start, no matter how little and all they gave me was one million litres a day.
The pipelines that were supplying fuel had all been destroyed and they had entered into a contract before we came in, to supply product by vessels. The cost of those vessels supplied was more than the value of the crude oil that was being supplied. It did not make any financial sense. So I cancelled that and challenged Nigerians who were in this entity to go and use their money to repair the pipelines.
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