Oil refinery investor seeks support for FG’s subsidy removal
African Refinery Port Harcourt Limited, the NNPC Joint Venture Partner in the 100,000 barrels per day refinery currently being developed within the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex, has lauded the bold decision to remove the premium motor spirit (PMS) subsidy.
In a statement made available to journalists, African Refinery’s Chief Executive Officer, Omotayo Adebajo, also called on Nigerians to be patient in the face of the immediate hardship caused by the subsidy removal and to support the President’s strategic announcement, which in his opinion has been long overdue.
While acknowledging that the subsidy removal has resulted in higher pump prices, he strongly believes that in the long run, the President’s action will boost investment in local refinery capacity in addition to the short-term benefit that subsidy removal will free up money that can be immediately channelled by the new government into high impact projects that would benefit a vast majority of Nigerians.
He also used the opportunity to call on President Tinubu to treat governance as a continuum by deepening the previous government’s commitment to supporting local refinery projects made by Buhari through NNPC Limited’s strategic equity investment in African Refinery’s 100kbd project in Port Harcourt and the recently commissioned Dangote Refinery in Lagos.
He noted that these projects are critical to Nigeria’s drive to stop the importation of fuel and guarantee energy security and can only succeed with the continued support of the Federal Government. He, therefore, reiterated the call that has been made in many circles for the new government to continue to support private sector investors, especially in the areas of access to feedstock and government-backed low-interest finance.
The ARPHL’s Chief Executive stated that his company’s refinery project, which is on track to be completed during the tenure of the new administration, will significantly increase local production of refined petroleum products whilst safeguarding a more competitive market of multiple producers located in more than one geographical region in the country. The company also expects that it will alongside similar projects help in finally positioning Nigeria as a net exporter of petroleum and petrochemical products and commodities.
The firm equally announced that it has commenced Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) activities, which marks a significant and critical milestone towards turning the vision of the refinery into a reality; the company also gave notice and as part of these activities, a team of its foreign experts and consultants will arrive in Nigeria in June 2023 to conduct critical surveys and to hold meetings with our partners and other industry stakeholders.
He concluded by reaffirming African Refinery’s full support for the President’s removal of all petroleum subsidies and strongly believes that this bold action is the critical first step towards our nation’s drive for a brighter and more prosperous future.