Yakubu Gowon, a former military head of state, says Nigeria would not be dependent on fuel imports if plans by his administration to build five refineries had succeeded.
Nigeria currently imports most of the refined petroleum products in circulation through crude oil swap deals and falls prey to scarcity of the products from time to time.
The government owns four refineries with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) but have been operating well below capacity, hitting an all-time low in 2017.
But speaking at the second annual Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) international conference in Lagos on Monday, Gowon said three refineries designed for local consumption were built during his rule between 1966 and 1975.
Gowon said one of the export-oriented refineries would have been dedicated to the local market to meet rising demand.
“During our time, we planned to build five export-oriented refineries to be able to deal with exporting of crude oil for refined products,” he said.
“But then, we had the three refineries–Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna–for home consumption.