The N12.05 trillion spent by the federal government on maintenance and rehabilitation of refineries, as well as fuel subsidy in seven years, is more than enough to build a brand new 650,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) refinery and another 325,000bspd refinery, an investigation by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown.
Such new refinery would have been bigger than the three moribund refineries built many years ago.
Over time, the refineries had guzzled billions of naira in the name of “upkeep”, and yet, could not produce any refined oil for domestic consumption.
The three refineries have a combined 445,000bpsd capacity. Port Harcourt refinery complex (old and new site) has 210,000bpsd, Warri has 125,000bpsd and Kaduna has 110,000bpsd capacity.
The collective failure of the refineries had forced the oil-rich Nigeria to depend on importing refined petroleum products after exporting the crude.
Sadly, a large chunk of dollars accrued to Nigeria is being used to import the refined oil for domestic use, obstructing channelling the funds for social and economic development.