A new refinery is currently being constructed in Akwa Ibom state where its governor, Udom Emmanuel, has performed the official foundation laying ceremony.
The new 100,000-barrel refinery is located in Ikwe community, Onna local government area of the state.
Nigeria currently has some refineries but the government says they perform far less than the required capacity.
As a result, the country depends heavily on importation of petroleum products and this, in itself, has been challenging.
Mr Gabriel Ukpeh, the chairman of the state committee on foreign direct investment, represented the governor and thanked the management of Ikwe-Onna Refinery Limited for assisting in meeting the desire of governor Udom.
“I have always said that though government plays key role in the lives of the people it is not the only source of growth and development.
“Government’s role is to provide social services and ensure that people have a conducive environment to aspire and achieve their dreams. So far, we have done that. What we are witnessing today represents a concrete move in that direction.
“I will personally visit the place to see how it is progressing. When completed, this project will open up this area to a wide range of economic activities. It will also create jobs for the teeming youths of this area and its environs. “I, therefore, urge the youths of this community to maintain the peace and deep sense of cooperation with the contractors and be good ambassadors of this community.
“We have endeavoured to keep our campaign promises by executing a number of laudable projects in infrastructure, agriculture and in investment. We shall continue to keep our eyes on the ball. No one can pull us down,” the Today quoted him as saying.
Daminabo Ogaji, the managing director of the company, disclosed that the refinery was designed to encourage the development of local refineries to stop the constant short supply of fuel to stations across the country.
Ogaji said: “We are determined and ready to use our position to drive a unique industrial revolution, being one of the foremost local content refinery promoters in Nigeria and in West Africa to deepen refining capacity of Nigeria and indeed Africa.”
In his own contribution, the founder and chairman of the board of the company, Mr Bassey Rex, explained: “With a startup capacity of 5,000 barrels per day, to be beefed up to 20, 000 bpd in the medium term, and further to at least 100, 000 bpd in the long term.
“A total of 50.1 hectares of land have been earmarked for the purpose of the project.”