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How Nigeria can improve local oil refining, by operators

By Sulaimon Salau
11 September 2022   |   4:10 am
For Nigeria to improve local refining in-country, the Crude Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), the umbrella body of indigenous crude oil refiners has appealed to the Federal Government to sort out numerous challenges hindering their operations.

Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

•CORAN Urges FG To Revisit Crude Prices, Incentives For Local Refineries
For Nigeria to improve local refining in-country, the Crude Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), the umbrella body of indigenous crude oil refiners has appealed to the Federal Government to sort out numerous challenges hindering their operations.

This is coming as the Federal Government pursues a strategic economic plan to boost refining in Nigeria from 0.01 per cent to 1 per cent.

The association, led by their Board of Trustee’s Chairman, Emmanuel Iheanacho, made the appeal during their visit to the leadership of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja.

The group had an interactive meeting with all relevant regulatory agencies, after the formal registration of CORAN and subsequently chaired by the NMDPRA’s Executive Director, Hydrocarbons Processing Plants, Installation and Transportation Infrastructure (HPPITI), Francis Ogaree.

The association urged the NMDPRA, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to engage with the licensed modular refineries in order to develop an appropriate commercial model that would guarantee reliable feedstock for local refineries.

It also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to create crude refinery intervention fund like that of Agricultural Credit Fund or the Pharmaceutical Fund, to drive effective business operations in-country.

While presenting CORAN’s position, the Secretary of the association, Olusegun Ilori, a lawyer, appealed to the authority to ensure that all incentives that were given to Dangote Refinery are also extended to other refineries.

He requested that NMDPRA renewal fee of modular refinery license guidelines should be revisited and possibly reduced by way of 50 per cent waiver.

He suggested that the waiver should be on the company-by-company assessment, and granted to only companies with credible challenges.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, CORAN said that annual monitoring of modular refineries should be carried out by the authority to ensure compliance with government policies.

The group said NNPCL should consider taking equity or grant loans to modular refineries via the provision of reformer/other requirement units to ensure adequate production of PMS based on agreed off-take conditions.

They suggested that the issuance of the import duty waivers for modular refinery equipment be done by the Federal Ministry of Finance after due certification of the equipment that qualified for waiver is done by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

CORAN said that modular refinery owners with evidence of feedstock challenge be given preference in allocation of NNPCL crude oil.

The association further requested that crude oil from NNPCL be sold to modular refinery owners in naira equivalent with guarantee that all the refined petrol be sold in naira equivalent in-country.

According to the group, “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) should collaborate with Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR) on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with the view of creating a petroleum refining hub in Nigeria while leveraging on the agreement; quarterly progress reports on modular refinery projects be sent to the ministry by NMDPRA while the ministry should liaise with Nigerian Immigration Service to resolve problems associated with issuance of expatriate Quota.”

Responding, the Executive Director Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning (ERSP), Dr. Zainab Gobir assured CORAN of the authority’s support and urged them to reach out to the committee that will be setup to work with refineries.

Gobir noted that with regular consultation, some of CORAN’s issues could be raised at economic policy levels. She pledged support for the association and assured that her office would create a dialogue for more communication between the refiners and the authority.