Buhari’s Unfulfilled Promises In The Petroleum Sector: The Refineries As A Case Study

Buhari’s Unfulfilled Promises In The Petroleum Sector: The Refineries As A Case Study

May 29, 2023 will mark the constitutional end of the Buhari led administration as president of Nigeria, after successfully serving out two terms in office from 2015 and a renewed mandate in 2019.

It is therefore imperative to highlight some of the unfulfilled promises he made in the build up to the 2015 general elections. A few of such promises include; equating naira against the dollar in the parallel market, adding substantially to the national grid, building new refineries while also revamping the old ones etc.

In this special Gist report, we shall be x-raying the unfulfilled promises around the Petroleum sector with a particular focus on refineries.

Against the electioneering promises, the Buhari led administration failed to build a single refinery in 8 years, and during the period under review not even a barrel of crude oil was refined in the country as the National refineries ( in Port Harcourt, Warri & Kaduna) became moribund.

The National Refineries have combined processing output of 445,000bpd, but was never utilized. While the Nigerian government failed to build a new refinery, a private investor Dangote took advantage of the lacuna and launched his 650,000bpd capacity refinery which is expected to begin production in the last quarter of 2023. With estimated 60m litres consumption of refined products in Nigeria, it means the country only needs a refining capacity of not more than 400bpd to tackle domestic needs.

After failing to build new refineries, the Federal government opted for Modular Refineries, but till date that has not been achieved.

In a recent revelation The People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) observed that Nigeria is the only member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that imports 90 to 95 per cent of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic consumption.

TPAP-M also revealed to journalists that other OPEC member countries depend on less than 20% imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs. These includes Angola, Algeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea etc in Africa, while the self-acclaimed giant still couldn’t find her feet under the Buhari led government.

In all of these, the government is trying to hunt down perpetrators of artisanal refining (kpo-fire) in the heart of Niger Delta. But it’s becoming a legalised illegal business in the land as military and paramilitary agencies have been overly indicted in its operations.

It is now clear that in 8 years, the Buhari led government could not fulfil the promise of revamping nor building new refineries to meet increasing domestic consumption needs for refined petroleum products, thereby putting the downstream sector of the country in a huge mess.

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