Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Truly, God is a Nigerian

Suddenly everything seems to be working again. I don’t know what electricity supply is like in your area but where I live, the noise pollution and fumes from generators has reduced considerably. I heard Nigeria now generates over 4,500 megawatts of electricity – an unprecedented high from an unprecedented low of 750MW less than three months ago. President Buhari has not even appointed a Minister of Power yet. Neither has he sacked anyone from PHCN or the Power Ministry. It is still the same people running the show but with a new set of attitude. No one wants to be caught on the wrong side of the divide.
The fact that all three refineries are now working, barely two months into the life of the present administration high-fives good leadership.
President Buhari is a man of few words but we all hear him loud and clear. Those in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its various subsidiaries hear him too. How else do you explain that the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries are now working and collectively churning out over 10 million litres of petrol daily, representing a third of local consumption needs. It is the same set of Managers running these facilities.
We had all given up on the refineries which at a point became an embarrassment to this country.
A whopping $1.6billion was voted for the turnaround maintenance (TAM) of the four refineries across the country by the end of 2014.  Many Nigerians knew it was another princely sum down the drain. Money to be shared among powerful political appointees and corrupt civil servants.
The current combined installed capacity of Port Harcourt refinery is 210,000 barrels per day, while Kaduna and Warri refineries are 110,000 bpd and 125,000 bpd respectively. These refineries should collectively pump out about 70million litres of petrol daily, more than twice the daily demand.
Unfortunately despite these impressive figures, the country has never enjoyed the benefits of the refineries as it has had to import refine crude in large quantities to augment local consumption, albeit, at a drain on the nation’s resources. But if President Buhari can get these facilities to operate at only 50% of their installed capacity, Nigerians will kiss petroleum product importation and the sleazy fuel subsidy regime goodbye.
Things are really changing fast in Nigeria. If these refineries can work, then everything can work in Nigeria.
More than two months after the oil pipeline contracts awarded by the former regime were revoked by the Buhari administration, the petroleum products distribution chain has remained intact. I think they’re even a lot safer now than ever before because the military which has the statutory responsibility of protecting these critical national infrastructures have been allowed to do their jobs.
It was enthralling to read the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report for the first half of the year with no piracy incident and zero attack recorded on Nigeria’s waters. This is a clear departure from the Jonathan/Tompolo/Akpobolokemi era. Despite a monthly N1.5billion payment from Akpobolokemi’s NIMASA to the ex-Niger Delta warlord for a highly controversial maritime security contract approved by the former President, Nigeria’s waterways became highly notorious and recorded the worst incidents of piracy, sea robbery and oil theft in history.
All of that has changed. The controversial contract has since been suspended while sanity has since been restored.
It is hard to forget Jonathan’s last Monday in office. 25th May 2015 was the day Nigeria was practically brought to its knees by the sleaze and incompetence of the Jonathan administration.
It was a black that would be permanently etched on the psyche of many Nigerians. That day was a fitting description of everything Jonathan’s five-and-a-half year regime typified – total darkness. We all remember how banks had to shut down their operations, no light, no fuel, no money.
With the kind of revelations coming into the public domain in the past few weeks – oil theft by Ministers, stashing away of over $6biliion in a foreign account by a former Minister and so on – it is safe the describe Jonathan’s administration as one of the worst in the history of this country.
Indeed, the former regime pushed Nigeria to the edge of the cliff but as it happened in 1966, during the civil war, after June 12 and the third term agenda era, He stepped in and saved His own.

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