When General Muhammadu Buhari took over the leadership of the country in 2015 there was high hope and expectations that his administration would wave a magic wand and make all Nigeria’s problems disappear.
Buhari made many promises to Nigerians one of which was to revive and reactivate the nation’s dead refineries and even build more.
Nigerians believed him given his experience as a former petroleum minister whose tenure witnessed the construction of Kaduna Refinery. Sadly six years after, the administration is yet to fulfill the promise.
And in a twist, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the immediate commencement of rehabilitation works on the Port Harcourt Refinery. The FEC approval came amid controversial price increase in pump price of petrol, which was later reversed.
Nigeria has over the years spent whopping amounts on the maintenance of its loss-making 445,000 barrels/day capacity refineries.
One may wish to ask if the administration took a close look at the approved fund, considering that the cost of building refineries across the world has come down and that Nigeria could build two refineries with the amount voted for TAM on just one refinery.
Another question on the lips of Nigerians is: Did the administration consider that the national debt has grown from N12 trillion in 2015 to N32.9 trillion today?
Indeed $1.5bn is shocking enough to cause us to be more confused in the way the administration is committing future generations into the bondage of bonds and debt.
Are we not going too deep into the debt trap for an unnecessary project?
How long shall we continue to witness such misplacement of priority and costly TAM of our refineries?
Nigeria’s economy is in dire straits, and our refineries have been generating loss for many years. The best course of action would be to privatise our refineries.
Our role as citizens is to be proactive in telling the truth to those governing us while it is left for them to heed.
Abba Dukawa, email@example.com, wrote in from Kano.