FG Pledges moving Nigeria’s local refining capacity from 14-95% within 20 months

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By Frank Uzuegbunam & Harrison Edeh & Cynthia Egboboh Nigeria’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum Emmanuel Ibeh Kachikwu at the on goi...

By Frank Uzuegbunam & Harrison Edeh & Cynthia Egboboh

Nigeria’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum Emmanuel Ibeh Kachikwu at the on going Nigeria International Petroleum Summit -An African Petroleum Technology and Business Conference, in Abuja on Monday said the Federal Government is determined to move Nigeria’s local refining capacity from its current 14% to 95% within 20 months.

Kachikwu expressed the belief, banking on a series of reforms being undertaken in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector, while assuring that Nigeria must take a leadership role in maximising the benefits in the petroleum sector, more especially in Africa.

“For the first time, we are creating a model, wherein private investment is going into our dilapidated refineries. We are still targeting getting the refineries up and running from about 14% to 95% refining capacity within the next 18-20 months .By so doing, we would be moving closely to self-sufficiency in refining petroleum products,” Kachikwu said in his opening remarks, as he welcome delegates comprising of investors and other stakeholders in the global oil sector.

Speaking on why Nigeria must take up proper leadership role in the Oil and Gas sector, he said, “This summit is the first of its kind in Nigeria and there is need to have an equivalent of the Oil Trading Conference annually held in Houston. We must bring together our African brothers and sisters‎ and take the lead in the sector.

“My target is that over the next ten years, Nigeria would be able to handle the Floating Production Storage and Offloading, (FPSO) locally here .My target is that within ten years, we must not be exporting crude products outside the country and that investors in Nigeria’s petroleum sector would have Nigeria’s investment appreciate from a minute 10% to 50%”he further added.

‎On commitments towards improving the sector, he said, “We have had our own ups and downs but we are thinking of how to explore the opportunities in our challenges. We must be discussing with investors here in Nigeria in this summit, to explore opportunities. We must be able to factor in the requisite technology skills that are essential for the sector.”

Kachikwu said, “Oil has got to provide work for our people, oil has got to provide the resources to power the country, oil has got to provide the needed transparency to run the economy. Oil has got to provide the technical and human skills, essential for running the overall economy.

Speaking further on government’s efforts in the last two years, he said, “‎We have done enough in the last two years, owing to the leadership role of our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari.”

“We have changed the funding mechanism for the upstream sector and that has tried to energise investors in the sector. Now,we are beginning to see projects such as Egina’s $15bn and others. Once we set the right model, we can access more benefits in the sector.‎”

Kachikwu said, “‎We have also tried to address the militancy issue in Nigeria’s rich Oil Niger Delta.We are now ramping up almost to full oil production. We are also focusing on the needs of the agitators, while also taking them seriously, not just as agitators, but as important sect to the economy.‎”

In his earlier remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who represented President Buhari at the event said, the Federal Government would ensure full support of an event such as this that has global oil stakeholders come to Nigeria to discuss improvement of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector.

“As a major component of the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, (ERGP) which targets restoration of oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day, the Nigerian government will support initiatives that supports this plan and ensure consistency in the event.

This summit has offered Nigeria the unique opportunity to showcase the policy direction of the Federal Government, while ensuring investors take advantage of such opportunities in the petroleum sector.‎”

Furthermore, Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC) ‎lauded Nigeria’s initiative at the summit, stating further that, “The summit is preparing Nigeria for the future, in line with global upward surge of oil demand, which will position Nigeria to harvest the needed opportunities.”

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Google9ja News: FG Pledges moving Nigeria’s local refining capacity from 14-95% within 20 months
FG Pledges moving Nigeria’s local refining capacity from 14-95% within 20 months
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