Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has challenged Bayelsa youth to steer clear of crime and ensure that oil and gas facilities are protected for the benefits of the people.
He said this while laying the foundation for Azikel Refinery at Obunagha community in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa.
Obasanjo commended Azikel group for translating the vision of operating a private refinery to a reality but regretted that none of the oil licences he granted during his tenure berthed any refinery.
“The resources of this country must be managed for the good of all, no matter the region or zone such investment is located. During my tenure, I gave 18 licenses but none was actualised; Nigerians should follow the good step to move the nation forward,” he said.
The refinery owned by Eruani Azibapu, president of Azikel Group, is among the 22 licences for private refineries issued by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
“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.
“Azikel group has demonstrated the true entrepreneurial spirit inherent in Nigerians with its approach to investment.”
Azibapu said the refinery when completed will address incessant scarcity of refined petroleum products in Nigeria.
He added that the refinery is being developed in two distinct features; which are inside battery limited, consisting 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.