President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said it was disgraceful that no Nigerian refinery currently performs up to 50 per cent capacity.
He recalled that during his tenure as a military Head of State, all the nation’s refineries were working.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari spoke when he received a delegation from Eni, led by the Chief Upstream Officer, Mr. Antonio Vella, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari said apart from satisfying the demands of local market, Nigeria was also exporting 100,000 barrels of petrol during the period under review.
He said, “In my first coming, all our refineries were working. Port Harcourt used to refine 60,000 barrels per day, and it was later upgraded to 100,000 barrels.
“Kaduna and Warri were also working optimally, and we used to satisfy the demands of the local market. We also exported 100,000 barrels of refined petrol.
“Now, no refinery is performing up to 50%. It is a disgraceful thing.”
Buhari also appreciated Eni for its upcoming investments in the oil industry, which include rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery, and the building of a new one.
Leader of the Eni delegation, Vella, said his organisation had presented a technical proposal to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery.
He said the firm had also done a feasibility study on a new refinery of up to 150,000 barrels per day capacity.
“Site selection has been completed, and 50 new graduates have already arrived in Italy for a training that will last seven months.
“There are other upstream initiatives, and a deep water project, with estimated expenditure of $13bn,” Vella disclosed.
The oil company also plans to double power generation capacity from its plant in Delta State from its present 500MW to 1,000MW, spending $750m in the process.