I am delighted to join you virtually and formally commission the First Phase Development of the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery.
The deployment of Modular Refineries represents one of the four key elements of our Refinery Roadmap rolled out in 2018 aimed at addressing the challenges in the downstream sector to meet our local needs and eliminate importation of petroleum products.
After many years of giving licenses for the establishment of modular refineries without any coming on stream, I am happy that we can today commission this Modular Refinery within two years of commencement of our Refinery Roadmap.
Furthermore, there is increased momentum in the other three focus areas under the Roadmap covering the Rehabilitation of existing refineries, Co-location of new refineries, and Construction of greenfield refineries.
The realization of the Refinery Roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighboring countries but to worldwide market.
This modular refinery is the largest commissioned modular refinery in the country today. The role played by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in going into collaboration with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is novel in concept and superb in delivery.
I wish to commend the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Chairman and members of the Governing Council, and the management and staff of the Nigerian Content Development Board for making this public-private partnership a success.
I also commend the Chairman, Board, Management and Staff of Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Limited for their professionalism and focus in getting this project completed.
The plan to commence the expansion of the capacity of refinery to 50,000 barrels per day to refine crude oil and condensates is an important part of economic reforms the country is undergoing. I look forward to seeing this new phase completed within the target timeframe.
I am directing the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as all relevant Government Agencies to provide Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company all the necessary support with regards to access to crude oil and condensate feedstock for the timely delivery of the additional capacity.
In line with our agenda on jobs creation, I am pleased to note that hundreds of direct and indirect jobs were created during the construction of the first phase of the project in addition to the various business opportunities. There is no doubt that the construction of the second phase of the project will create bigger additional employment opportunities.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the local community and the people of Imo State for hosting this refinery which I trust will bring prosperity and economic development.
It is therefore with great pleasure that I commission the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery. I hereby direct the Honorable Minister of State of Petroleum Resources and His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State to cut the tape on my behalf.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.