The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
described the coming into being of modular refineries in the country
as the result of the enabling environment created by the
Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister stated this in Ibigwe in Ohaji Egbema Local Government
Area of Imo State on Tuesday during a media tour of the Waltersmith
Modular Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company Limited, which is due for
commissioning next month.
“We can show Nigerians that while every government has been talking
about modular refineries, no government has succeeded in turning the
dream into reality until now,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said with the coming on board of medium scale
refineries like Waltersmith, Nigerians will soon experience cheaper
“With this kind of refinery, all issues of subsidy become completely
irrelevant because we would be able to get fuel at a cheaper price,
especially because everything that is being produced will be for local
consumption,” he said.
The Minister lauded the partnership between the Waltersmith Refinery
and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board that holds a
30% stake in the refinery, which will start with 5,000bpd, add
25,000bpd in the second stage and then another 20,000bpd to bring the
capacity to 50,000bpd in the third and final phase.
He said the Administration will continue to showcase its monumental
achievements because it has performed well in the execution of
projects across the country.
“I am glad we are here today blowing our trumpet because we have
created an enabling environment for this project,” he said, after he
and his entourage, as well as Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and
some members of the National Assembly, were taken on a tour of the
refinery, one of many of its type that are in different stages of
completion in the country.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development
and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, said the Board believes that
at least 10% of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined through the
modular refineries, because of its capacity to generate employment.
“With an average of ten direct jobs created for every 1,000 barrels
per day capacity of a modular refinery, we believe that about 2,500
direct jobs and over 25,000 indirect jobs can be created if 10% of
Nigeria’s production is refined using modular refineries,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Waltersmith Modular Refinery and
Petro-Chemical Company Limited, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, said from 14
October, 2020, 23 trucks will commence the loading of products such as
Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil and Naphtha from the refinery.
“What we are doing is in support of government initiative and this is
coming at the right time as the government is deregulating the
market,” he said. ”We really support the government policy on
deregulation and removal of subsidies because it creates a market for
what we are doing.”
The Minister and Governor Uzodinma, as well as the Chairman, Senate
Committee on Information and National Communication, Senator Danladi
Sankara; Chairman, House Committee on Information, National
Orientation, Ethics and Value, Mr. Olusegun Odebunmi, and over 30
journalists were conducted round the production facilities of the
refinery by the Chairman, Mr. Isa.