By Abiodun Lawal
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday opened a 300 million-litre ultra-modern Tank Farm in Ogun, saying with the development, Nigeria is on the right track.
During the inauguration of the facility, located in Ibefun, Odogbolu Local Government Area of the state, Osinbajo said that jobs would be created with the development.
Osinbajo recalled that a cheering news came from World Bank over a month ago when it adjudged Nigeria as “one of the tenth improved economies in the world’’ in 2017.
The vice president explained that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government believed that industrialisation was key to achieving economic development growth and creating jobs for millions of Nigerians.
He reassured that the Federal Government was committed to reducing petroleum products to less than 20 per cent between the end of 2018 and first quarter of 2019.
Osinbajo said Petrolex tank farm would ease Apapa’s tank farms traffic, improve retail distribution in Nigeria, increase domestic storage of petroleum products and create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths.
“But perhaps for greater importance as future of our national economic objectives is that this facility again bears out a philosophical plan of our economic recovery and growth plan.
“It is that private capital must lead Nigeria’s economic revolution and this is right.
“Private sector is the nation’s major economic source and also the primary business of government is to create the environment that enables commerce to thrive unhindered.
“Importantly also is the fact that significance of local investments such as this sends the strongest possible signal to foreign investors that not only government is safe but Nigeria is indeed investment designation in Africa.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in his goodwill message, commended the Chairman of Petrolex for putting up the facility in the state.
Obasanjo added that if the facility was not fully utilised, it would be a waste to the state and the nation as a whole.
The former president noted that private sector, without the support of the public sector in project of this calibre, would amount to nothing.
He appreciated the vice president for witnessing the inauguration of the farm tank.
The Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, said that the facility was a testimony of hard work and dedication.
He said it would be the largest petroleum tank farm in sub Saharan Africa.
In view of the on-going fuel scarcity, Baru warned depots owners and filling stations against hoarding of the products.
The Chief Executive Officer, Petrolex Oil and Gas , Mr Segun Adebutu, said that the commissioning of the facility marked the beginning of a legacy that was poised to impact economies and accelerate development.
Adebutu, son of the business mogul, Sir Kessington Adebutu, said that the structure was designed to bring a new wave of progress by delivering energy solutions that would facilitate business across West Africa.
He explained that the first phase of the project had been delivered, which included 300 million litres capacity tank farm, 30 loading gantries, 4,000 truck capacity, 30KT vessel and eight Tugboats.
He said that over 10,000 new jobs would be created in the short term and over 500 per cent improved throughput capacity for distribution of petroleum products.
Among prominent personalities who graced the occasion were Governors of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi and Benue, Samuel Ortom; Sen. Dino Melaye who represented Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
Others were Ondo Deputy Governor, Ajayi Agboola; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe. (NAN)