26 December 2015, Abuja – Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that state-owned refineries would make direct payments into the federation account from 2016.
The refineries are subsidiaries of the NNPC, which is the body expected to make the payments. However, according to a report by The Cable, Kachikwu said the NNPC was adopting a plan that would give the refineries some sort of autonomy, without privatising them.
In a statement by Ohi Alegbe, the corporation’s spokesperson, Kachikwu was quoted as saying high level discussions were underway with local and international investors to bridge funding gap in the sector.
Kachikwu said, “The new model is that refineries would now buy their own crude oil, refine it and make remittances to the federation account allocation committee.
“They would operate a semi autonomy system that would enable them to run in a profitable manner.”
The statement expressed the federal government’s readiness to raise funds from international investors and the private sector in 2016 to fund the joint venture cash calls between the NNPC and international oil companies operating in the country.
Kachikwu said the initiative was geared towards preventing the government from bearing the burden of funding capital intensive projects in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The minister assured that the NNPC’s over 5000 km of pipelines across the country would be privatised in order to enhance efficient management of the infrastructure and bring pipeline vandalism to the barest minimum.
According to him, in another 24 months, Nigerians would see a positive change in the refinery model, to meet needs not only in Nigeria but in the West African sub region.
Speaking on the December deadline for the refineries, Kachikwu said the reports before him showed that, two of the refineries were likely to meet the deadline.