*Hails Okunbor for his commitment
By Simon Ebegbulem & Jimitota Onoyume
MINISTER of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has commissioned an underground pipeline from Esacravos to Warri and Port Harcourt refineries expected to deliver crude directly to the refineries rather than the use of marine vessels which has been in use for years.
The Minister, who disclosed that fuel queues will soon be a thing of the past, said the pipeline will ensure constant supply of crude to the refineries which, according to him, will be the first time the three refineries in the country will be operational at the same time.
“We must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving us the opportunity to deliver this and, for the first time, our three refineries will be working at the same time. This underground pipeline will check sabotage and I can tell you the sufferings of people will soon be a thing of the past as regards fuel scarcity. I apologise to Nigerians for the long fuel scarcity but we are working round the clock to bring smile on their faces”, he stated.
Kachikwu commended the contractor, Ocean Marine Solution, chaired by Capt.Hosa Okunbor, saying that, despite the fact that the contractor had not been paid before embarking on the job, he did a good job that will help resolve the problems confronting the oil sector.
Okunbor, who attributed the completion of the project to Buhari’s determination to bring total reform in the oil and gas sector, noted that this was the first time, in the last ten years, that crude will be delivered to the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries through pipe-line.
“Today, we are very glad that, for the first time over ten years, we are able to deliver the crude line between Esacrovos and Warri and crude is now flowing through the pipeline which was impossible over the years. We thank God, you saw the Minister, the refinery people were glad. NNPC workers were rejoicing and we, as a company, are also rejoicing for what God has used us to do. I am so glad because, sometimes, there are certain things you achieve that are more than money. We have created serious value for this country using our own resources,” he added.
“As a company, it was a big gamble to do this. We spent billions without a penny from NNPC, but today we have resolved the problem. A lot of people did not understand. Some wrote petitions that we were given a contract”.