Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:00 am
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that the Federal Government says it will not concession or privatize Nigeria’s refineries but eTncourage private sector investment and subsequent joint ownership of the outfits for greater efficiency.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu said this in a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Idang Alibi, Director Press in the Ministry.
Receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum(Upstream) who were on an oversight visit to the Ministry, Kachikwu said 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, recoup 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 was availability of 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 are now on to give effect to the MOUs so that real money can 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.
Speaking 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 Ministry under his watch and suggested that for the economic health of the nation, oil companies which fail to pay in their signature bonuses to the Federal Government should have their oil block allocations revoked.