" As a Nigerian under-30 who grew up in Warri I have been quite close to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and luckily so this has helped me understand some of the issues that come up in that industry.
I have also been very fortunate to have visit 3 major power stations as well as the “3” refineries in southern Nigeria while also ending up as an engineer so I can better understand and be part of this very lucrative industry.
It may not be a surprise but you should know that since after the late 70’s and early 80’s up until 2009 there has been no major infrastructural development in Nigeria. No new power plants have been built and successfully commissioned nor has the foundation been laid for any oil refinery.
My visit to the ones I mentioned above turned up very interesting results as regards their capacities and operational efficiencies but mind you the visits to the power plants was conducted between 2004 and 2006 while those to the refineries were earlier.
While the PH refinery was operating at between 60-70% installed capacity at the time of my visit, the Warri plant was virtually non functional at that time. I was told that the crude line to the Warri plant was damaged (Vandalized) and so they couldn’t receive crude to refine and so they using the opportunity to do a mini in-house Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM). Not long after that visit the FGN also used the same excuse and officially awarded contract for the TAM to Chrome Oil Resources owned by Anambra business-man, Sir Emeka Offor. That TAM was never concluded and the refinery staff had to complete it on their own.
My visit to the three power plants showed that two of them had were operating at less than 40% capacity!! We were given the same excuse that gas pipelines had been vandalized and so they couldn’t get gas to run their turbines but I noticed that the turbines were very old with about half of them packed-up.
The most interesting thing I noticed on these visits was the name and dates on the commissioning plagues of these plants: Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was the name while the dates ranged from 1977 to 1979. I immediately fell in love with Obj and when he became president later I silently wished and prayed he would perform the same magic until he began to scheme for 3rd term and that I couldn’t stomach.
When Obj failed bw 1999 and 2007, I tried to understand and then I realized and got to know that the master-mind of all those developments during his military stint was Brig. Gen. Mohammadu Buhari who was the Minister of Power and Energy during that period. Buhari it was, being in-charge of that ministry, built all those plants Obj had commissioned and I had visited.
We are also all aware of the magic that same Buhari performed as head the PTF, which ran a parallel government in Nigeria by getting JUST 3% of every litre of petroleum product purchased in Nigeria. Projects started and completed by the PTF are too numerous to mention here.
Buhari has never been indicted by any probe or inquiry as haven stolen any money. We have seen how prudent and useful the ministries and agencies he ran were yet we refused to vote him because we have been fed with lies upon lies that he was a religious bigot, he would make Sharia national thing etc.
The cesspool of corruption called Nigeria needs a man in the calibre of Buhari to run her affairs and the funny thing is in our heart of heart we all knew this yet we were afraid to take the bull by the horn and deliver that long-awaited change to Nigeria. Instead you all voted a man, so scared of public debates that he arranged his own private debate. A man who as deputy-governor and governor had no achievement to his name except a corrupt wife!
Unfortunately, Buhari has also hurt his credibility by the statements he made just after the elections. I would definitely vote for him again but for me he just should have appealed to the people instead of saying “the people have only reacted to cheating that was perpertuated”.
It’s rather unfortunate what our country has turned into, really very unfortunate that sometimes I think she’s irredeemable.
I just hope that we would have the courage to see through their lies and smiling faces and do what is right by searching the deep recesses of our conscience and voting appropriately next time but for now let us live in peace with one another.
I was speechless after reading this, for how long will Nigeria be like this???