May 12, 2022

Nigeria to become Africa’s oil hub, says oil tycoon

From Uche Usim, Abuja

Despite Nigeria’s huge energy challenges, Chairman of Skymark Energy and Power Limited, Muhammad Saleh Hassan, expressed optimism that the hydra-headed crises will soon end and the country will eventually become Africa’s hub. of the refined oil exporting nation.

Hassan said so during a conversation with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday while shedding light on the current status of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Nigerian refineries being rehabilitated and other strategic investments. in the area.

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He noted that the ongoing efforts to rebuild the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warr and Port Harcourt as well as the Dangote refinery being built in Lekki, Lagos were a game changer in the country’s energy equation.

“With the continued efforts of the Federal Government not only to renovate but to rebuild the country’s three refineries at Port Harcourt, Warrior and Kaduna, they would certainly begin to operate at full capacity and meet the aspirations of the people. It is expected that by 2023/2024, Nigeria will become the African hub for refined petroleum products. It is the management of NNPC Limited and they are focused on this feat which is achievable,” he said.

“For the first time under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources and Mr. Mele Kyari as Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), the petroleum sector is experiencing a massive turnaround. This is expressed through their proactive and meticulous professional efforts to transform NNPC into a for-profit limited liability company,” Hassan emphasized.

He added, “It is interesting to note that the new business status of the company has led it to report profits, which has also greatly contributed to ensuring the stability of the company and to contributing massively to the economic growth of the country. country”.

He also skinned criticism in the public domain that trillions of naira spent on fuel subsidy and refurbishment of Nigerian refineries was a waste of funds.

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“For the first time, the country’s three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have seen stability measures, compared to previous administrations when they were in a coma with continuing crises in the country’s oil sector. But currently all refineries are running consistently due to some degree of maintenance inspired by the administration led by Buhari as well as Kyari’s leadership as helmsman of NNPC Limited,” Hassan noted.

“NNPC Limited has been completely overthrown by the Buhari administration as well as Malam Kyari as GMD, thanks to the strong synergy between them. “is a waste of public funds because of past failures do not hold water. What NNPC Limited and the Federal Government are doing is not just refurbishing but rebuilding refineries,” he added.

“Obviously, 21st century technology and expertise are being put in place by the present leaders of Buhari and Kyari to achieve this goal. Thus, Nigerians should put the worries of the past behind them and look forward to new developments. inspired by the concern and sincerity of the current government.

“People should check their facts before making insinuations. Malam Kyari had gone to inspect overtime and expressed his satisfaction with it. By the end of this year or next, refineries would start operating at full capacity. He is above the job and I’m sure his name will be written in gold the moment his efforts come to fruition.

“Therefore, Nigerians should rest assured that the failure of the past would soon become the success of the present. Indeed, there is a difference in leadership and expertise, which shows that what has not worked over the years can now begin to work. It’s because there’s a new sheriff in town.

“Whatever pains Nigerians are currently going through, it is only a matter of time. As it is now, it is a no pain, no gain situation.

While talking in more detail about the economic prospects of the construction of the Dangote refinery in Lagos, the boss of Skymark Energy said:

“There are indications that NNPC Limited has a stake of around 20% in the Dangote refineries being constructed in Lekki, Lagos. where the three Nigerian refineries and the Dangote Refinery would synergize, Nigeria would no longer export crude oil to foreign countries to be refined and brought back home at exorbitant prices.Refining will be done locally here to inspire an oil price affordable and stable Importation of refined petroleum will be a thing of the past As I said earlier, very soon Nigeria will become Africa’s hub for refined petroleum products and will be dependent on other African countries. This is a legacy of Buhari’s administration and Kyari’s leadership at NNPC Limited to be remembered, so I would encourage Nigerians to be patient as better days are ahead in the oil sector. er. Interestingly also, huge jobs would be generated for Nigerians when all the refineries are fully set up.

Hassan, who also condemned insinuations that the fuel subsidy is a waste of funds by the FG, praised Buhari for supporting it.

“How can anyone say that the fuel subsidy is not justified? Are the penalties the government has imposed on Nigerians by maintaining the subsidies not justified enough? Removing oil subsidies would shake up the economy and the masses. Maintaining it means the FG pays your bills and pays mine too. The world is currently groaning due to rising oil prices, especially due to the Russian-Ukrainian war. But Nigerians are not feeling the pains so much because of the guaranteed regular subsidy. The burden is on the government and NNPC Limited. A gallon of PMS costs around $3,000 Naira per liter in Europe, but a liter still costs Naira 165.00 in Nigeria. It is the grant that guarantees this immense relief to Nigerians.

“For me, Buhari and Kyari deserve applause for this gesture. They are geniuses in securing the subsidy for the benefit of the masses. then no difficulty.Then taxes could be removed on other goods and services and prices would fall and the living conditions of Nigerians would improve considerably.