24 May 2014, Abuja – The National President of Independent Marketers Association (IPMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, friday disclosed that the association had perfected plans to establish two refineries in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
Okoronkwo who made this disclosure while leading a delegation of the group on a courtesy visit to Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at the National Assembly, said the establishment of the refineries would further boost the nation’s economy.
While assuring that the group was committed to stability of downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry, the IPMAN boss added that the body would also stabilise the supply of petroleum products at the official rate.
“The only way we can think of building capacity in the downstream is to build refineries; and as I speak, we have concluded plans to build two refineries – one in the northern part of Nigeria and another in the southern part of Nigeria.
“It is strategic because when we thought about the capital flight, the enormous money spent on importation of petroleum products and we believe that as a responsible organisation, the current IPMAN administration must take up the challenge of refining this crude oil in Nigeria,” he said.
The group solicited the support of the Senate in securing approval from relevant government agencies for the projects, noting that continuous dependence on imported refined petroleum products was harmful to the nation’s economy.
Responding, Ekweremadu assured the group that the National Assembly would expedite action on the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
According to him, the Senate was mindful of the immense benefits derivable from PIB to Nigerians as well as stakeholders in the petroleum sector as he promised that the upper chamber would work assiduously to ensure that the desired reforms in the sector come to fruition.
“I would like to use this opportunity to assure you that progress is being made regarding the Petroleum Industry Bill. We are committed to passing the Petroleum Industry Bill because we believe that it is going to bring major reforms in the industry. We want to solicit your patience and also your support towards passing it.
“We are hoping that very shortly, our committee will bring forth the report of the bill and we are going to give it an accelerated hearing so that Nigerians and those who are in the industry will begin to have the benefits of reforms intended by this bill”, he said
Ekweremadu who advised IPMAN to remain patriotic and ensure steady supply of petroleum products to Nigerians, also implored members to be security conscious in their operations, saying the task of securing the country remains the responsibility of all.
– This Day