As the debate rages on the removal or otherwise of the controversial fuel subsidy, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Oil and Gas, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho has disclosed that the huge amount of money used by the government to subsidise Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is depriving the government of revenue that can be used to improve the lives of Nigerians.
He made this known while speaking about his 20, 000 bpd modular refinery aimed at cushioning the effect of the huge amount of money spent on subsidy by the government.
If this aim is achieved, he disclosed that it will free up more funds for the government to use in providing basic amenities that will improve the lives of Nigerians.
“At some point in time also, we articulated the plan to move into the midstream when we set plans in motion to build a 20, 000-barrel per day modular refinery, the plan is still in the offing because we have finished everything we needed to do with that plan.
We have a situation with the subsidy regime that is depriving Nigerians of a lot of money that the government could have spent to improve their lifestyle and quality of life, if we have more refineries like this on stream, then, there would be absolutely no reason for us to waste money on paying subsidy, so, we will be able to better power our economy, to create better jobs for our people, to harness and harvest specific skills in respect to refining and all the other activities that we plan there.
Basically, it will act as a means of igniting latent economic opportunities that have been indeed overlooked for so many years” he enthused.
Shedding more light on the modular refinery and what has held it back, Capt Iheanacho, a former Minister of Interior disclosed that lack of funds had hampered the timely completion of the project while urging the incoming administration to take a look at individuals like himself who have workable, tested proposals and offer the required assistance.
“It is hundred per cent a Nigerian project which is also funded by us 100 per cent at the moment through our retained earnings and we hope to be able to attract support funding from some of the multi-lateral banking institutions.
The availability of resources has held us back, we didn’t have the funding when we needed it, so, the plan is only suspended for the time being, it will be resuscitated at a later date.
When the new administration comes on board, they should look very closely at what people are doing, the government should be looking at people who are absolutely very serious in terms of what they propose, people who have projects that really have far-reaching consequences in terms of the quality of life that can be created when executed, then, any assistance that government has should be routed to such people, so, they can realize those objectives as quickly as possible” he enthused.
The modular refinery which requires an investment of about $136m, according to Iheanacho also comes with plans to build a container terminal, a jetty and a port that will alleviate the congestion on Apapa Port, create thousands of jobs and boost the Nigerian economy.
“The refinery will be built on the eastern part of the island, we also have plans to build a container terminal also on that island which will basically create a lot of jobs, it will create opportunity for people to acquire technology which would enhance the operation of our economy when all of these things are realized” he added.