It Is All Lies, Muhammadu Buhari Never Built Any Refinery

By Uche Ezeigbo on 28/10/2014

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“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― Adolf Hitler

The above quote aptly capture the scenario that is currently playing out in Nigeria. As 2015 general elections draw closer , the tempo of political activism, propagandism and outlandish sensationalism is on a steady increase. The blogosphere has become a battlefield of some sort, especially for the two top contenders, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC). Mystery stories have been concocted by agents of both parties and shoved down the throats of gullible Nigerians either to promote or tarnish the image of a candidate.

One man that has benefited immensely from such concocted stories is former Head of State and a top contender for the presidential ticket of APC, Muhammadu Buhari. Facts have been twisted to favour the retired general and portray him 'The Messiah' by those who sees him as the only good thing that has ever happened to Nigeria.

To make their candidate more appealing and salable, the 'Buharist' have consistently claimed that the Portharcourt, Kaduna and Warri refineries were built by Buhari.

This article does not intend to malign the person of General Buhari (Rtd) but aimed at putting the record straight and also educate those who may have swallowed this lie and are defending it with every bit of their being.

Brief History of Nigeria Oil Industry

The advent of the oil industry can be traced back to 1908, when a German entity, the Nigerian Bitumen Corporation, commenced exploration activities in the Araromi area, West of Nigeria. These pioneering efforts ended abruptly with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Oil prospecting efforts resumed in 1937, when Shell D'Arcy (the forerunner of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria) was awarded the sole concessionary rights covering the whole territory of Nigeria. Their activities were also interrupted by the Second World War, but resumed 1947. Concerted efforts after several years and an investment of over N30 million, led to the first commercial discovery in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta.

This discovery, opened up the Oil industry in 1961, bringing in Mobil, Agip, Safrap (now Elf), Tenneco and Amoseas (Texaco and Chevron respectively) to join the exploration efforts both in the onshore and areas of Nigeria. This development was enhanced by the extension of the concessionary rights previously a monopoly of Shell, to the newcomers. The objective of the government in doing this, was to he pace of exploration and production of Petroleum.

Even now more companies, both foreign and indigenous have won concessionary rights and are producing. Actual oil production and export from the Oloibiri field in present day Bayelsa State commenced in 1958 with an initial production rate of 5,100 barrels of crude oil per day. Subsequently, the quantity doubled the following year and progressively as more players came onto the oil scene, the production rose to 2.0 million barrels per day in 1972 and a peaking at 2.4 million barrels per day in 1979. Nigeria thereafter, attained the status of a major oil producer, ranking 7th in the world in 1972, and has since grown to become the sixth largest oil producing country in the world.

History of Nigerian Refineries

Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1957 - 1966)

October 1965 Nigeria Petroleum Refinery Corporation ( NPRC) completed the first Refinery in Nigeria at Alesa Eleme near Portharcourt at
38,000b/d at a cost of £12million. Crude oil processed in the NPRC was from Shell – BP pipeline to Bonny Terminal. 5 marketers owned the crude oil and products processed by NPRC.
Head of State: Gen. Murtala Mohammed (1975 - 1976)

Warri Refinery project was awarded to Snamprogetti SPA of Milan in Nov. 1975 after an international bidding exercise. The capacity was
100,000b/d, cost was US$478million for a 30 month project duration.
The refinery was completed and successfully commissioned in September 1978. ( Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo)
The Kaduna refinery Project (Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company (KRPC)): The engineering, procurement and construction contract was awarded to Chiyoda Engineering and Construction Company of Japan in 1976 at a cost of US$525million. The duration of Project was 36 months.
The refinery was completed in September 1979 and commissioned by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo
Head of State: Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (1985 - 1993)

The new Port Harcourt Refinery (Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC2)): Contract for design and construction
was awarded to a consortium of JGC Corporation, Marubeni Corporation both of Japan and Spibatignolbs of France in October 1985 at a total cost equivalent of US$850million.
Project was completed and refinery commissioned 1989 by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida
From the above analysis, it is clear Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd) never awarded contract, nor built or commissioned any refinery in Nigeria as a Head of State, therefore the story making round that he built three refineries is absolute fallacy and an attempt by career Buharist to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.

I am not against people promoting and selling their preferred candidate(s) to the public, but such should be done with decorum and utmost responsibility, selling lies packaged as truth is the height of irresponsibility.

Ezeuche Igbo wrote from Jos

 

Posted on October, 28 2014

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