He made the pronouncement, Thursday while inaugurating Orient Petroleum Resources Plc at Aguleri-Otu in the Anambra East Local Government Area of the state.
Jonathan said the government was committed to oil exploration in all the country’s sedimentary basins, commending Orient Petroleum for pioneering inland crude oil production in the country.
“The good news is not Orient Oil and Anambra Basin alone, the good news is for all the sedimentary basins all over the country,” the president said.
He said that the pioneering efforts of Orient Petroleum in Anambra would give confidence to other investors to invest in other inland sedimentary basins in the country.
Jonathan charged workers in the oil industry, especially those in the upstream sector, to add value to the crude oil they produce and export refined products.
“We have a lot of gas resources in Anambra Basin from meteorological records. Orient Petroleum has helped us not just in producing the crude oil, but adding value to it.
“As a nation, we should not be exporting crude oil alone. The vision of Orient to diversify into refining and power generation, among others, is the way to go.
“People who refine crude oil make more money than those who export the crude commodity,” he said.
The president commended the management of the company and other private investors for the innovation they had brought into the oil sector.
He said that the transformation agenda of his administration would not to be pioneered by government alone, adding that the private sector also had a role to play to transform t he nation.
Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government would continue to work with the private sector to maximise the nation’s resources.
Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, who thanked the president for inaugurating Orient Petroleum, promised that his administration would partner with the company to develop the oil sector in the state.
Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Chairman of Orient Petroleum Resources, said the company would commence refining crude next year.
Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, said that when the company’s refining facility is completed, about 20,000 litres of crude would be refined daily.
He disclosed that three State Governments, Anambra, Kogi and Rivers were shareholders in the company, adding that the 21 Local Government Areas in Anambra were also shareholders in the company.
Anyaoku said the company was making efforts to utilise its gas to avoid flaring, expressing hope that utilisation of the company’s gas resources would impact positively on electricity supply in the country.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Nnaemeka Nwawka, appealed to the Federal Government and Nigerian banks to provide incentives and intervention funds for private refineries.