The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, said the Federal Government will announce the private investors in the refineries in the coming March.
Speaking at a session during the ongoing Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), Kachikwu said the government was also considering a policy that would compel multinational oil and gas firms operating in the company to build refineries in Nigeria.
The minister said, by that time, international oil firms would no longer be allowed to ship out all the crude oil they produced in Nigeria.
The minister noted that emphasis would shift to local production of substantial portion of the crude oil produced in the country.
Daily Trust reports that no international oil company (IOC) currently owns a refinery or refined petroleum products in the country. However, there have been recent commitments by the IOCs to build one or provide equity funding for the repair of the existing refineries.
“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,” the minister said.
“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 investment,” Kachikwu said.
Speaking earlier, the minister said the challenge to oil companies had changed.
“Oil has got to provide the resources to power this country; jobs for our people; and the operational environment that is transparent enough for others to take Nigeria serious.
“My target over the next 10 years is for Nigeria to become self-sufficient in its own power provision, gravitate from crude oil as it where, to very refined, clean provision of fossils.
“Nigerian entities and Nigerian shareholders would begin to move from the minuscule 10 per cent today to between 40 and 50 per cent of local investments.”
The minister said since the launch of the 7Big wins two years ago, the administration had been able to change the funding capacity for the upstream that had energised investors in the upstream sector.
“Now we are beginning to see projects like Egina, $15bn; Zabazaba, potential $10bn; Bonga, potential $10bn, and the likes and so many other investments put at over $40bn potential investments over the next five years, if we do the right thing,” he asid.