Nassarawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule has stated that the past administration of Muhammadu Buhari spent more than the $19 billion used in building the Dangote Refinery on reviving the country’s refineries.
Nigeria has refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri but none is operational which led to the creation of Dangote Refinery, a move by seen by industry experts as the begining of privatisation of the oil sector. The Dangote Refinery which is Africa’s biggest oil refinery launched its building plans in 2017. But the project was commissioned in May 2023, a few days before the end of Buhari’s administration
Sule has now criticized the amount of money spent trying to reinvigorate Nigeria’s refineries .
“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” Sule said to Channels Television on Thursday, June 8.
“That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined,”
He blamed the payments of subsidy for making Nigeria’s refineries non-functional.
“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.
“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 said.
Governor Sule also criticized the complex nature of maintaining the refineries.
“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,” Sule noted.
The Governor said that the ideal thing would have been to allocate thing funds to one of the refining states to fix it before allocating the remainder to the other states.
“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well,” he said.