Nigeria: Price of petroleum products to come down soon – Govt

*Petrol nozzle.

*Petrol nozzle.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi,
with agency reports

25 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has announced that it is working to reduce the price of petroleum products by encouraging and working with private refineries and reducing importation.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is in the UK to sign the Nigeria-UK solar energy agreement, told journalists that government’s plan to create a robust and efficient oil and gas industry includes unbundling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), reducing importation of petroleum products as well as investment in construction of modular refineries at different locations across the country.

He said, “We are going to be unbundling the NNPC so that its various components are effective core centres and are able to do their business well.

“We are going to have private refineries at the site of the old refineries, so they can benefit from the available infrastructure. So, we think that in the medium term, we would be able to get cheaper pump price. The pump price of oil would be cheaper because we would be importing far less refined petroleum. A lot of that will be produced locally.”l

He added, “Now, we have well over 30 modular refineries licences, so we think a lot of modular refineries would come. Many of them, their major concern is feed stock, are we going to be guaranteed feed stock? We are working on that.

“Once we are able to deal with that, we feel we would substantially be able to reduce pump price and get the whole business of importation of refined petroleum and the NNPC just getting directly involved in business; we are going to reduce that. The objective is to make the NNPC play more regulatory function.”

The Vice President noted further that, “They are options that are always there. But we think that there are ways we can raise our own potion of contribution to the Joint Ventures. It will only be a last resort and we have not come anywhere near that.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has boosted its renewable energy initiative with the signing of an agreement with the United Kingdom on the use of solar energy to provide electricity to rural areas in Nigeria.

Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, who led Nigeria’s delegation signed on behalf of the Federal Government while the UK Minister of State for International Development, Mr Grant Shapps, signed on behalf of the UK government. The event was performed shortly after the launch of the Africa Energy Campaign initiated by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID).

Osinbajo said Nigeria will do its best to ensure that the campaign to boost supply and consumption of solar energy is invigorated and gave an assurance that the Federal Government would work closely with the DFID.

He added that the Nigerian market provided the greatest opportunity for the use of small scale solar solutions adding that the country would be the ideal base to push the solar solution in the continent.

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