• en

In Korea, Buhari Expresses Delight as NNPC, Daewoo Seal Deal On Kaduna Refinery Rehabilitation

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 2022 World Bio Summit in Seoul.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Seoul, South Korea, expressed delight as he witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and Daewoo Group of South Korea for the rehabilitation of the Kaduna Refinery.

Buhari was in South Korea with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; and the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari.

The president, according to series of posts on twitter, was particularly excited as the signing came against the ongoing rehabilitation works at the Warri Refinery by the same Daewoo Group, which was expected at the first instance, to deliver production before the first half of 2023.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 2022 World Bio Summit in Seoul, South Korea during which Buhari had bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Yoon Suk Yeol.

According to Buhari, “Daewoo Group has massive investments in the automobile, maritime and other sectors of our economy. I am also aware that Daewoo is currently engaged in the execution of the NLNG train seven project and also constructing sea-going LPG vessels for NNPC and her partners.”

He said he, “looked forward to the delivery of ongoing projects, especially at the Warri and Kaduna refineries, and the NLNG Train Seven,” stressing that “This no doubt will open many more windows of opportunities for Daewoo and other Korean companies in Nigeria.

“I thank you for your faith in Nigeria,” President Buhari told the Korean conglomerate at the end of the significant ceremony on the last day of his visit to the Asian country to attend the First World Bio Summit.”
The 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity Kaduna Refinery is one of Nigeria’s four dysfunctional refineries that have produced no fuel for years, leaving the country to rely on imported products.

The biggest state-run refinery, which is Port Harcourt, is currently undergoing repairs handled by Tecnimont of Italy. The government said it expects the plant to start production by December 2022.

The Federal Executive Council had in August last year approved the award of the contract for the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna Refineries at the combined total sum of $1.5 billion.

He said Daewoo was also repairing the Warri plant, which will at the first instance deliver fuel before the first half of 2023.

Buhari at the end of the signing ceremony, which occurred on the last day of his visit to the Asian country, thanked Daewoo for having faith in Nigeria.

However, the NNPC GCEO had tweeted earlier yesterday on his verified tweeter handle that company was progressing its refinery rehabilitation agenda and had endorsed the Letter of Intent (LOI) for the revision of the quick fix for the Kaduna Refinery with Daewoo.

“We are progressing our refinery rehabilitation agenda. We endorsed the LOI for the revised strategy of quick fix for the Kaduna Refinery with Daewoo in Seoul. Mobilisation to site to commence shortly. Rehabilitation activities on Port Harcourt and Warri continuing. We are poised to deliver,” Kyari said.

He had tweeted on Wednesday that he was privileged to accompany the president for his bilateral meeting with the South Korean leader.

He had added that NNPC would follow up Buhari’s continuing commitment to deepen energy industry collaboration with Korean partners.

Buhari also yesterday reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to stabilizing the country’s democratic system.
Speaking while meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Kim Jin-Pyo, on the sidelines of the World Bio Summit 2022, the president declared that the successes achieved in the recent off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States, confirmed that the people of Nigeria have approved the democratic form of government.

According to him, “We are proud that our patriotic people are given the right to choose who will govern and represent them in the various legislative houses at state and federal levels.”

Recalling his political journey dotted with several attempts and court cases to clinch the presidency, Buhari praised the introduction of technology, especially the use of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) for his eventual success at the polls, while noting that the diversities introduced by the colonial history of Nigeria unlike in Korea, have not made governance easy.

He also commended the resourcefulness of the Korean shipping industry, and thanked the host government’s assistance towards the rehabilitation of Nigeria’s infrastructure, describing it as “crucial.”
Declaring that Nigeria was trying to be self-sufficient in many areas due to her huge population so that she can be of help to other countries in the sub-region as well, President Buhari affirmed that good education and health are “very critical and fundamental to our state of development.”
According to him: “We are doing our best to see what government can provide and hope the people appreciate our efforts.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Speaker thanked Buhari for his first visit to the Korean Parliament and commiserated with Nigeria over the havoc caused by floods.

Describing Nigeria as a “cultural power house” rich in population, natural resources and high GDP, Mr. Jin-Pyo, said the Korean Parliament valued its relationship with Nigeria and loved to see increased “people-to-people” interactions.

According to him, under President Buhari’s leadership, the Republic of Korea was able to grow bilateral trade with Nigeria by 30 per cent last year, and looked forward to expanded trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) regime.

The Speaker expressed his government’s readiness to assist Nigeria in human capacity building, while requesting for support as Korea planned to host EXPO 2030 in Busam, adding that he believed many Nigerian companies would attend.

He thanked the Nigerian President for addressing the World Bio Summit and commended Nigeria’s choice as a manufacturing hub for vaccines with Korea ready to provide requisite staff training.
According to Mr. Jin-Pyo, “Your visit will serve as a momentum to build on existing bilateral relations and expand to other areas like healthcare while finding ways to fund and provide better life for our peoples and engendering stronger Parliaments.”

The president was also particularly excited as the signing came against the background of ongoing rehabilitation works at Warri refinery by same Daewoo Group which will at the first instance, deliver fuels production before the first half of 2023.

He said he looked forward to the delivery of ongoing projects, especially at the Warri and Kaduna refineries, and the NLNG Train Seven, stressing that “this no doubt will open many more windows of opportunities for Daewoo and other Korean companies in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Buhari has told Nigerians resident in South Korea that they are the faces of Nigeria and that they should endeavour to project a positive image of the country through their actions, characters, conducts and general comportments.

The president stated this yesterday, during an interactive session with the leadership and select members of the Nigerian Community as part of his engagements at the end of the First World Bio Summit 2022, while urging them to remain good ambassadors of Nigeria at all times.

According to Buhari, “As law abiding citizens of our great country, I advise that you replicate the excellent Nigerian virtues by coexisting peacefully with your hosts and abide by the laws of the land. You must always strive to eschew any acts of lawlessness in your day-to-day activities and to take it as major responsibility to encourage other Nigerians to always remain of excellent behaviour.”

Further reminding them that “Nigeria is and will always be our only country,” he enjoined them “to always pray and work for the peace and prosperity of our beloved country. Let us desist from any acts capable of causing disaffection among our people. Nigerians in diaspora in many countries of the world have achieved tremendous successes through hard work, resilience and resourcefulness and I have no doubt in my mind that similar success stories will continue to be replicated amongst the Nigerian diaspora community in the Republic of South Korea.”
Buhari who assured them that the federal government, through the Embassy would always strive to protect their interests by ensuring that, “none of you is unjustly treated at all times,” appealed to them to “see all Nigerians as brothers and sisters irrespective of tribe and religion and collectively work to positively project the image of the country.”

On preparations for the 2023 national elections, which he said, are in active stages, the president sought for their “prayers and support to enable us transit peacefully to the next administration and deepen the democratic processes in our country,” expressing delight that the “outcomes of the last four off-season elections, have left us with great optimism for better conducted and acceptable 2023 elections.”

Speaking earlier on behalf of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), South Korea, the President, Chiemeka Ndukwu, had thanked President Buhari for creating Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NiDCOM) as well as “approving a production line for international passports which we now have here in the Republic of Korea,” adding that “this has eased the stress of going to China, Malaysia or back home for intervention.”

He appealed to the federal government to reach a Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) with the Republic of Korea, stressing that if signed, it would not just create job opportunities and increase foreign exchange remittance, but also ensure the transfer of technology and skills since these trainees will not just return to Nigeria with enough capital to set up factories and businesses that will employ people, they will also be returning with the skills and technology they acquired.
Other prominent NIDO members who also attended the interactive session were drawn from construction, insurance, private business sectors as well as male and female representatives of students undergoing post-graduate studies in specialised fields.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

Follow us on: