Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu is calling on International Oil Companies to move beyond the business of crude exploration and support local production of petroleum products by building refineries in the nation.
Speaking at a presentation in Rome, Italy on Tuesday, Dr. Kachikwu said that “the refineries could be built by the IOCs and within a short period of time, investment in the venture could be recouped by direct sales model.’’
Giving the historical background of the sector’s challenges, he stated that the “investment was necessary now more than ever considering the fact that Nigeria’s refineries which were built in the 1970s and 1980s were presently working at sub optimal levels and cannot sufficiently cater for local needs… Hence the country is heavily dependent on product importation which creates instability in supply and price of products.’’
The minister said that the attempt by previous governments to privatise refineries and attract investment in refineries failed to yield the required result.
“The present government has promised to correct this by upgrading old refineries and building new ones, thus increasing local production capacity with an objective to reduce importation of petroleum products by 60% in 2018 and by 2019 to become a net exporter of petroleum products and value added petrochemicals,’’ he stressed.
According to Voice of Nigeria The meeting is in furtherance to the Minister’s commitment to the full implementation of the #7BigWins; which is the road map that focuses on the short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.
It was rounded up with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ENI and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). ENI is committed to the refurbishment of the Port Harcourt Refinery, building of Phase 2 of the Okpai Power Plant and further investments in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry worth over several billions of Dollars. ENI is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome
In continuation of the ongoing investment drive in Italy, the Minister of State would be meeting the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development of Italy to formalise this new trend of cooperation between Oil Majors and Nigeria.
He would also meet 10 other Oil and Gas companies in Italy to further expand the partners of investments in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector.