Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday laid the foundation for the establishment of Azikel Refinery at Obunagha Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the refinery owned by Dr Eruani Azibapu, President of Azikel Group, was among the 22 licenses for private refineries issued by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Performing the ground breaking of the first skimming refinery in Nigeria, Obasanjo commended President Buhari and Azikel group, for translating the vision of operating a private refinery to a reality.
The Former President, however, decried the way the 18 licenses he gave in the country during his tenure were not actualized, urging Dr Eruani to keep the flag flying.
“The resources of this country must be managed for the good of all, no matter the region or zone such investment is located.
“Azikel group has demonstrated the true entrepreneurial spirit inherent in Nigerians with its approach to investment.
“During my tenure, I gave 18 licenses but none were actualized; Nigerians should follow the good step to move the nation forward.
“I have seen in Dr Eruani a genuine entrepreneur, a good ambassador of the nation, and I have the hope that the refinery project will go a long way in creating jobs not only for the people of Bayelsa but for all citizens,” he said.
Obasanjo, however, urged the youth in the area to steer clear of crime and ensure that the facility is protected for the benefits of the people.
Dr Eruani Azibapu, President of Azikel Group, said the refinery when completed would address incessant scarcity of refined petroleum products in Nigeria.
According to Eruani, the refinery is being developed in two distinct features; which are inside battery limited, which consist of crude distillation unit, Naphtha hydro-theatre, catalytic reformer, isomerisation, LPG/gas plant, kerosene/jet treater and many other.
“While the outside battery units will consist of 667,500 barrel of crude and refined product storage tank capacity of 32 units of various tank sizes.
“The project is to drive industrialisation of Niger Delta and create employment, wealth and financial freedom for citizens,” he said.