The incessant fuel scarcity plaquing the country will soon become a thing of the past, a Bayelsa based industrialist, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, has said.
Eruani, an operator of a privately owned refinery about to commence operation, told journalists that the yearly fuel scarcity debacle, particularly during festive periods in the country, is inexcusable, pointing out that this challenge has become embarrassing and biting, as it has virtually crippled economic activities in the country.
Eruani said the challenge persists because the efficiency level of existing refineries is too low to satisfy consumers demand; just as the nation depend solely on importation of fuel for local consumption.
He said the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari took a pragmatic step to redress low supply, importation of fuel and price hike, by issuing licenses to private refineries to Nigerian businessmen, Azikel Group inclusive.
He said Azikel Petroleum has achieved 65 per cent completion; and that it would soon begin operation, stating that when all licensed privately owned refineries begin to dispense fuel, it would shore up production capacity and fuel scarcity and insufficiency would be outlawed, and that Nigeria would be like other countries where availability of petroleum product would no longer be an issues.
He said: ??Azikel Petroleum refinery, phase 1, 12, 000 bpsd hydro-skimming refinery, would produce, premium motor spirit, liquefied Petroleum gas, heavy fuel oil, Kerosene and diesel, which is scalable as it will increase geometrically in the phase 2 level of production with over 50,000 bpsd.?
He said Azikel Group is irrevocably committed to bridging the industrial deficit in Bayelsa, saying; ?we are on a fast lane of making history, building the first hydro-skimming privately owned refinery in the state and the Niger Delta, and as we pioneer this course others would follow?? Eruani submitted.
??It might be difficult yesterday, but we have moved beyond the point of difficulty to success, and we believe that fuel scarcity in Nigeria would be a thing of the past soon.
He dismissed the erroneous impression that Bayelsa is a militant state, stressing that the people are enterprising and a whole lots of small and medium business is also thriving in the state.
Eruani alluded that the multiplier effect of adequate supply of petroleum product in the country would drastically reduce the problem of unemployment, which is responsible for brain drain, illegal means to greener pasture, particularly the Libya returnees, as well as other in pathetic conditions faced by young Nigerians in other countries.
He shared the optimism that synergy between the private sector and government at all levels is needed to advance technology driven industrialization to absorb graduates from our universities, as a well as create room for middle and low class manpower.
The Azikel Group President noted that subsidiaries under the group have created industrialization in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta, stressing that with over 1000 employees from the six geo-political zones and still counting, we have reduced unemployment challenge in the state, Niger Delta and in the country.