The recent declaration by the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, that the Federal Government has approved the construction of five refineries in Ogun state has been received with mixed reactions. It is no news that the state of refineries in the country is in total shambles, therefore, the approval of the construction of not one, but five refineries has raised a lot of questions.
What is also of concern to most people is that of all states in the country, why Ogun?
Crude oil was discovered in two local governments in the state in 2008 during the administration of Gbenga Daniel. They are Ogun Waterside and Ipokia Local Government Areas.
Governor Amosun said at the weekend, during his official tour to Ipokia Local Government Area of the state, that the Presidency had given the approval to establish the five refineries in the council area, having been satisfied with report of oil discovery in the area.
Amosun said the development would transform the council, saying that no fewer than 400 companies had indicated interest to establish refineries and general investment in the state, a month after the investment summit organised by the state government.
He noted that his administration would expand the Idi-Iroko-Ipokia road, to pave the way for the expected development in the council. He assured that both Owode-Ilaro and Papalanto-Ilaro roads, belonging to the Federal Government, would be rehabilitated and expanded.
“No fewer than 400 companies had indicated interest to establish refineries and general investment in the state” implies that the refineries would be constructed by private companies and not the Federal Government.
Nigeria has four refineries of world standard, with a total installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day. However, the current daily demand for fuel in the country is put at 33 million litres. To meet up this demand, the country imports most of the fuel it needs. With a large quantity of fuel being imported daily into the country, it would be a huge relief to the entire country if the oil can be refined within the its shores.
However, arguments against the construction of refineries in the state stem from the fact that oil was only recently discovered there and other states which have discovered oil for much longer periods still do not have functioning refineries. Some people say that the state might not be so rich in oil that would warrant the construction of five refineries in the state.
What is your view on this? Is the approval for the construction of five refineries in Ogun state a right move by the Federal Government?
News Source: Tribune