President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled that during his time as a military Head of State, all Nigeria’s refineries were working optimally. He lamented that it was disgraceful thing that none of the country’s refineries currently performs up to 50 per cent capacity.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, spoke on Friday while receiving a delegation from Eni, led by the Chief Upstream Officer, Mr. Antonio Vella, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He stated that in the early 80’s when he was in power, Nigeria was exporting 100,000 barrels of petrol after meeting the demands of local market.
He said, “In my first coming, all our refineries were working. Port Harcourt used to refine 60,000 barrels per day, and it was later upgraded to 100,000 barrels.
“Kaduna and Warri were also working optimally, and we used to satisfy the demands of the local market. We also exported 100,000 barrels of refined petrol.
“Now, no refinery is performing up to 50%. It is a disgraceful thing.”
Buhari also appreciated Eni for its upcoming investments in the oil industry, which include rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery, and the building of a new one.
Leader of the Eni delegation, Vella said his organisation had presented a technical proposal to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery.
He said the firm had also done a feasibility study on a new refinery of up to 150,000 barrels per day capacity.
“Site selection has been completed, and 50 new graduates have already arrived in Italy for a training that will last seven months,” Vella said.