Nigeria has resolved to encourage private sector investment and joint ownership of its refineries to ensure greater efficiency.
The government has therefore foreclosed concession or privatizing the refineries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, unveiled the plan for the ailing refineries on Tuesday when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum(Upstream) who were on an oversight visit.
A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Idang Alibi, Director Press in the Ministry, quoted Kachikwu saying that government was working hard to bring in private capital to strengthen the refineries in order to boost the nation’s local refining capacity.
According to Kachikwu, for efficient management of the refineries, government funds will not be committed to the refineries any more.
He explained that prospective private investors would bring in funding, take part in managing the refineries and from there, re-coup their investment.
Reeling out some of the achievements of the Ministry, Kachikwu told the visiting legislators that since the deregulation of the downstream of the petroleum sector in June, there has been petrol at filling stations across the country at affordable prices.
He also said his roadshows to China and India have secured for the nation MOUs worth about 80 billion dollars and that efforts were on to give effect to the MOUs so that real money could enter into the domestic economy.
He said his next port of call in terms of a roadshow is the Gulf States and the U. S. from which Nigeria hopes to secure investment and get back her crude oil market.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Victor Nwokolo, said the visit was to get first hand briefing on the activities, achievements, opportunities and challenges of the Ministry.“This will enable the Committee to know what support it can give for the ministry to achieve greater results for the benefit of the national economy,” Nwokolo said.
He commended Kachikwu on the achievements so far recorded in the petroleum sector.
He suggested that for the good of the economy, oil companies which failed to remit their signature bonuses to the government should have their oil block allocations revoked. (NAN)