Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says the government of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari spent more than the $19 billion used in building the Dangote Refinery on the maintenance of the country’s refineries.
At different points within his 8 years in power, the Buhari administration awarded contracts for the repair of refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri but none is functioning up till date.
However, with $19 billion, Dangote built Africa’s largest petrochemical refinery and the world’s largest single-train petroleum refining facility.
Speaking when he featured on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, the governor said the Dangote Refinery would be a game changer in the sector.
“Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and half times the size of our three refineries combined.
“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”
He also commented on the issue of subsidy payments, which is generating crisis at the moment.
The governor blamed the rise in payment of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries.
“From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time there was zero subsidy.”
Governor Sule also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components.
“The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery.
“The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.
“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad.”