The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Monday said that multinational oil firms would soon not ship out all the crude oil they produce in Nigeria. Kachikwu said this in Abuja at a break-out session of the maiden Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) titled “Deepening collaboration in the African oil and gas industry – challenges and opportunities for investment”.
According to him, the government is planning to put frameworks in place for the multinational oil and gas firms to build refineries in Nigeria thereby processing a substantial amount of crude that is produced from its oil fields. “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. Currently, the nation had an average in-country refining capacity of 14 per cent, but this would be upgraded to between 90-95 per cent on 10 months to meet rising demands.
Kachikwu said that henceforth oil had to provide the resources to power the country, provide jobs for Nigerians and provide the operational environment transparent enough for others to take Nigeria serious.
The session had in attendance the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington; Minister of Petroleum of Chad, Bechir Madet; and the Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF), Dr Sun Xiansheng, among others.
Sea News, February 22