Sule recants after saying Buhari’s spent $19bn on non-operational refineries

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By Wale Odunsi

Governor Abdullahi Sule has recanted days after he expressed displeasure about President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of $19 billion for refineries maintenance.

During Channels Television’s programme Sunrise Daily, the Nasarawa helmsman criticised the past administration for deciding to fix multiple refineries at once.

The Nigerian government owns three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt (Rivers) and Warri (Delta), but none is yet to function at full capacity.

Sule said the government could have fixed one but expended the same humongous amount Aliko Dangote used to build a new refinery to service three old ones.

“In the eight years, he (Buhari) spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery.

“That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries. From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job,” he admitted.

In a statement on Monday by Chief Press Secretary Ibrahim Addra, the governor denied criticising Buhari, saying he only commented on subsidy for petroleum products.

Addra said Sule, who has decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, spoke on the desirability of subsidy removal and “systemic problems that have hindered the optimal functioning of refineries”.

The spokesperson said Sule was baffled by the misrepresentation of some parts of the interview as they relate to the outgone leader.

“The comments of the governor have been inadvertently twisted to suggest that the governor was blaming the former President for the woes of the nation’s refineries. That’s far from the truth”, the statement reads.

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