The Kaduna state Senator representing Zone II (Kaduna Central), Comrade Shehu Sani, has condemned plans by the Kaduna state governor, Nair El-Rufai, to develop a refinery in the state, saying it is a misplaced priority.
The Kaduna State government had recently in its delegation’s visit to China led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, signed a Memoranda of Understanding with a China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) to develop a new 50,000 barrels per day refinery in Kaduna.
According to the Senator, the existing Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company is operating in billion capacities; therefore, having another refinery would be of no value, because there are no scarcities of fuel. He pointed out that, the funds meant for that project should instead be channeled to developmental projects that would be beneficial to all.
Comrade Sani made the criticism when a group of young people under the umbrella body of “Shehu Sani Contact and Mobilization for Governor 2019” paid him a courtesy visit to inform him of their support to contest for Kaduna state governorship in the 2019 elections.
He said, “We have heard that there is an attempt to build refinery in Kaduna. There are lots of questions to be asked: How can a government, who is saying government should not be involved in building or running industries, now selling over 30 industries built by Balarabe Musa; or, why is he building another industry?
“Everyone knows that you cannot run a refinery with power from NEPA – the refinery in Kaduna is run by an independent power supply, and the running cost of a refinery is over a N100 million per day after billions of Dollars have been pumped in; supply of the crude oil itself from Niger – where would the money come from?
“He has given contract to a Chinese company to build refineries in Kaduna, which other companies bided for that contract or when and where was an open tender made for people to know which company won the bidding?
“Was the construction of Kaduna state refinery in the 2017 budget? Did the state House of Assembly appropriated money for construction of the company? We may end up with a ‘white elephant’ project,” he noted.
The Senator further stressed that, having an industry or refinery that would later be privatized cannot be accepted; as such, the state government should use available resources to build houses, hospitals, schools and roads for the benefit of all.
“I am using this opportunity to say in clear terms that we are opposing any ‘white elephant project’ in this state. I am not a person, who is at perpetual war, but I see it as a misplaced priority,” he added.