By Solomon Asowata
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised the Federal Government to remain focused on increasing Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity.
IPMAN’S President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that having functional refineries was in the best interest of the nation at this point in time.
Okoronkwo noted that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine had escalated the prices of petroleum products at the international market and had led to scarcity of the products in Nigeria.
He said: “For us at IPMAN, we have been clamouring for increase in our domestic refining capacity because of the current situation we have found ourselves as a country.
“The price of crude oil at the international market is about 130 dollars but Nigeria and Nigerians cannot benefit because we are importing a product we have in abundance.
“This has led to increment in the prices of Premium Motor Spirit, Automotive Gas Oil, Dual Purpose Kerosene and Jet A1, which is what we are battling in the country right now.”
According to him, this situation has made it imperative for government to vigorously pursue the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries while creating the enabling environment for more private owned refineries.
Okoronkwo said the rehabilitation of the refineries would give Nigeria about 400,000 Barrels Per Day (BPD) while the Dangote and BUA refineries, which were under construction, had 650,000 BPD and 200,000 BPD respectively.
He said other modular refineries such as the Waltersmith Refinery, Duport Refinery, Atlantic Refinery and the Azikel Hydro-skimming Refinery would also boost in-country refining of petroleum products.
“We need to get it right this time around because oil is the mainstay of our economy and we cannot add value without boosting our domestic refining capacity.
“IPMAN is also working on bringing more foreign direct investments to the sector, especially with the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act.
“We are also looking at increasing domestic gas utilisation as a cheaper alternative to PMS and AGO, especially in the area of autogas which the Federal Government is currently working on,” Okoronkwo said. (NAN)