Shehu Sani queries El-Rufai’s plan to build refinery

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 31 May 2017 | 1,661 times

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Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has raised questions on the planed building of a refinery in Kaduna by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

Kaduna State government had signed an agreement with a Chinese company to build a refinery in the state, which will use crude oil from Niger Republic via a 400-kilometre pipeline from Niger to Kaduna.

Governor El-Rufai disclosed this when he returned from the Asian country, where he led a business delegation to.

A statement by the Governor’s Spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, had said that the proposed refinery is a 50,000 barrels per day capacity one and that representatives of the Kaduna Refinery Consortium and the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) signed the agreement on the project last week in China.

But, the Senator described the sale of state government houses, industries built by former Governor Baralabe Musa and the proposed building of refinery by the Governor El-Rufai-led administration, as a white elephant project.

Sani, while delivering his Democracy Day message to his constituency and Kaduna State people at the time Zaria people paid him a courtesy visit on Monday in Kaduna said that there are lots of questions that are begging for answers on the planned building of the refinery.

He said: “One, the existing Kaduna Refinery is operating below capacity, what will be the use of another refinery in the state?

“Secondly, how can a government of a state after saying that it will not be involved in building or running industry, be selling over 30 industries built by Baralabe Musa; why is he building another one?

“Everyone knows that you cannot run a refining with NEPA or Kaduna Electric. The refinery in Kaduna is run by an independent power supply. The running cost of a refinery is over N100 million per day. With which money will Kaduna State refinery be used to run such a refinery?

“He is giving contract to a Chinese company to build Refinery in Kaduna, other companies bided for that contract, that must have been  tendered, and there must  be bidders,  where did the bidding take place in Kaduna State for us to hear that Chinese company won.

“Does the construction merit El-Rufai’s 2017 Kaduna Budget? Did Kaduna State Assembly appropriate money to construct a refinery?

“You cannot run refinery without crude oil. You are buying crude oil from Niger Republic from which money. Meanwhile, there is no filling station in Kaduna with queue now.

“Fuel is abundant here. Are we going to build refinery that will later be privatised to some people. We are not going to agree. We’ll stand against it.”

Shehu Sani called on the Governor to build schools, roads, healthcare centres for people instead of embarking on the planned building of refinery in the state.

He said: “What the people of Zaria that visited me relayed are testimonials that showed the high level of problems and challenges faced by the people of the state.

The Senator also disclosed that he is 100% opposed to the attempt by the state government to remove district heads in Kaduna State, adding that the traditional rulers play very important roles in restoring peace.

“They have played very important roles in restoration of peace and harmony in Kaduna State and must be preserved.

“We also unreservedly condemn and are opposed to attempts by the state government to sell over 2, 000 houses which we, APC, inherited from the previous administrations.

“If Governor El-Rufai is interested in selling houses, he should build his houses and sell it, and should not sell the house he inherited.

“We are also deeply concerned about the amount of money allocated to Kaduna State as federal revenue which is not commensurate with the level of happenings within the state. There is need for the Governor of the state to tell us how he officially intends to spend the Paris support funds.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been given to state Governors but we don’t know where that money is going in Kaduna State up till now.”

He said the visit by the group is very special because it is happening on Democracy Day, a day when all Nigerians are taking stock of what has happened in the last two years in the life of the current democratic dispensation of the government under APC.

He said as a Senator representing Kaduna Central and from Kaduna State, he is duty bound to talk to his electorate, and share his achievements and challenges.

“In the last two years, as a Senator I’ve been able to raise about 15 Bills and 25 motions in the NASS,” he said.

Shittu Ibrahim, leader of one of the groups, described the commissioning of Zaria water project by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo as a “drama”.

“The taps are not running in Zaria and Sabon Gari, the two local governments that we were told will get water from the completed phase commissioned.

“We are therefore giving the state government three months ultimatum to fulfil its promise or face legal action for deceiving us,” he said.

Photo by Garba Ahmed shows Senator Shehu Sani (m), during the courtesy call by groups from Zaria to mark Democracy Day in Kaduna.

Source: News Express

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