14 December 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Thursday, stated that the Federal Government would not be spending its money on the repairs of the country’s moribund refineries.
Speaking in Abuja, at the presentation of the key achievements of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in three years, 2016 to 2018 and award to staff of the ministry, Kachikwu, noted that the refineries would be repaired using funds from private investors.
He said, “What is important is that for the first time, the President had been able to say that he would repair the refineries without government money. Nobody had been able to give attention to that. No penny of government had been spent on any refinery. Every effort we are making is to go find private investors to collaborate with us, save the government money and be able to put these refineries in working order.
“This is because every TAM that we have done in the past has always come up with stories. Wrong contracting models, wrong delivery, wrong work, and we don’t want to go that way. Let the private refiners work with us, do this, and help co-manage these refineries and let us get it to work. Let us focus on being able to deliver instead of focusing on my head.”
Kachikwu also stated that the country would continue to encounter challenges in terms of ensuring stable fuel supply until the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry was liberalized and fuel subsidy eliminated.
To this end, he said, “Looking ahead, three critical issues we must address: the removal of subsidy and how do we deal with it and the liberalization of the downstream sector; refineries revamp, we must complete. Increasing crude oil production to 2.5 million barrels must be a target we must push.
Others are “Domestic gas and crude supply obligations, we must pursue. Transparency in FAAC remittances, so that there is no dispute between the assembly, governors and us in terms of what we made and what we sent from NNPC, that needs to be addressed.
“Partnering for uninterrupted power supply, working with oil companies is key. Environmental cleanup, we have started in Ogoni, we need to extend to other areas. Infrastructure revamp in the sector is key, community empowerment programme is also key. There is no paucity of work in this sector.”
Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari maintained that the oil and gas sector was strategic to the growth and development of the country, and would continue to remain relevant for a long time to come.
He said, “As you are aware, a lot is still required to bring about investments and make the oil and gas sector in Nigeria investors’ destination.
“At this juncture, I want to congratulate the ministry of petroleum resources, and all the agencies and ministries for the successes recorded in the last three years; 2016, 2017, and 2018. Behind every success, there are also lessons and more others to cross.”