18 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Warri — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has demanded that the federal government put in place policies that will compel International Oil Companies, IOCs, to refine crude oil in the country.
In a communique issued at the end of its last National Executive Council meeting in Warri, PENGASSAN said putting in place such legal framework would eventually lead the IOCs into building new refineries in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had in a statement at the maiden edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS in Abuja, disclosed that multinational oil firms would soon be unable to ship out all the crude oil they produce in Nigeria but that they would instead be compelled to build refineries in Nigeria to refine some of the oil.
“We would get to a point where Nigeria, definitely, would be a major supplier of refined petroleum products. It just has to happen. Nothing else makes sense. We are also saying directly to oil companies that a time would also come when we would not be open to see them move around all the crude oil they produce in Nigeria. We will like to see integrated refining and integrated processing here. It gives us more jobs and creates more investments,” Kachikwu said.
According to PENGASSAN, such policies should be included in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, which should contain certain “allocated percentage” of the IOCs production that must be refined in the country.
The group added that the government should declare a state of emergency in the nation’s refining sub-sector, adding that it is the “only solution” to Nigeria’s unending fuel importation, supply, and distribution crisis.
“This has over the years remained worrisome and embarrassing as Nigeria remains the only OPEC member country importing fuel and the largest importer in the world”
PENGASSAN then urged the government to hasten the process of rehabilitating the refineries through investors and financiers.