Despite the general enthusiasm by both the Nigerian and private investors for the establishment of modular refineries, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) says this plan is too expensive, and won’t end the challenge of fuel scarcity.
Addressing the media shortly after visiting Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja, the LCCI president, Babatunde Ruwase, said the modular refinery concept is at best a short-term intervention strategy which would not address Nigeria’s energy needs.
“Modular refineries will never be the answer to fuel scarcity, it will just scratch the problem in the surface and it will come at a more expensive cost,” he said.
“Modular refineries can be an intervention thing but then what we are looking at as a big nation is large-scale refineries that can produce. If we are going to be producing with modular refineries today, it is not going to be as cheap as if you have these large-scale refineries.”
Ruwase suggested that government should give the existing refineries to the private sectors to revive and produce petroleum products.
“Modular refinery is just an intervention; what we are saying is that government should allow the private sector to own refineries as Dangote group is doing,’’ he said.
He also called for the revival of rails and pipelines to evacuate cargo and petroleum products from the seaports to various outlets.