Abdulrazaq Isa, CEO Waltersmith Petrolman and Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB
Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited with equity investment from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will be completing its planned project of 5000 barrels per day modular refinery in May 2020.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Kesiye Wabote and the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, Isaac Yalah.
The project site was inspected at Ibigwe, Imo State, in company of the chairman of Waltersmith, Abdulrasaq Isah and the Executive Vice-chairman, Danjuma Saleh.
The project completion stands at 65 percent, seven percent ahead of the original schedule. The engineering and procurement components have also been completed, with construction at 60 percent.
Giving his assessment after taking a tour of the site, Wabote described the project as investment channeled in the right direction. He hailed the contractors-Lambert Electromac and Zerock for their remarkable pace of execution, dedication and expertise, noting that they continued with the project despite the onset of the rainy season.
The Executive Secretary expressed delight with the high number of Nigerians working on various aspects of the project, stating that it underscores President Mohammed Buhari’s commitment to create employment for young Nigerians from the activities of the oil and gas industry. Wabote stated thus, “I hope similar projects will come on stream pretty soon to generate employment for Nigerians.”
In line with the requirements of the succession plan of the Nigerian Content Act, Wabote charged the contractors to train and absorb more Nigerians in senior management positions and make them permanent members of their companies, even after the project phase.
He noted that the Ibigwe modular refinery was the first of such projects to be undertaken by the NCDMB and Watersmith and hinted that the Board had sanctioned another modular refinery project to be developed at Calabar, Cross River State.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Waltersmith, AbdulRasaq Isah, thanked the Executive Secretary for the visit and affirmed that the company was satisfied with the quality of work from the contractors. He also noted that Waltersmith had been steadfast on its obligations to the firms. “We expect you to remain consistent with us as well. But we are very happy with what we have seen and we are looking forward to commissioning and beginning to sell diesel and kerosene from this site in May 2020.”
The Board and Waltersmith signed the equity investment agreement in June 2018. Wabote had explained at the ceremony that the investment decision was in line with the Board’s vision ‘to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.’
He added that the Board was also keen to support the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries and meet the key objectives of the Petroleum Industry’s Seven Big Wins launched by President Mohammed Buhari in October 2016 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Program (EGRP).