NNPC harps on full deregulation of downstream sector to boost domestic refining
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. on Wednesday said full deregulation of the downstream sector would boost the country’s domestic refining capacity.
Mr Mustapha Yakubu, Group Executive Director, Refining, NNPC, said this during a panel session at the ongoing Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit is: “Revitalising the Industry: Future Fuels and Energy Transition.”
Yakubu noted that the full deregulation of the downstream sector would encourage the establishment of more modular and condensates refineries in the country.
He said the NNPC had the mandate to protect Nigeria’s energy security and would continue to support efforts geared towards adding value to the nation’s crude oil production.
“We believe that there is need to improve our domestic refining capacity. That is why the NNPC is embarking on total rehabilitation of our four refineries and not just the usual Turn Around Maintenance.
“We are going to have locally refined products after the completion of the rehabilitation.
“We also have the Dangote Refinery coming up in Lagos while the Waltersmith Refinery in Imo is already in operation.
Other modular and condensates refineries are coming up, and NNPC is supporting private investors in establishing them,” Yakubu said.
He appealed to Nigerians to show understanding with the NNPC due to the lingering scarcity of PMS across the country, adding that efforts were being made to resolve the issue.
Also, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Managing Director, 11 Plc, said the postponement of the full deregulation of the downstream sector was a huge setback to the industry.
Oyebanji said liberalisation of the sector would enable investors across the value chain to have adequate returns on their investments, which was the goal of the Petroleum Industry Act.
Mr Huub Stokman, Chief Executive, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd., said increasing Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity would change the country’s economic landscape.
He noted that the current challenge with the scarcity of petrol was a clear indication that Nigeria needed a good emergency plan going forward.
Mr Emmanuel Omuojine, Executive Director, Rainoil Ltd., said removing subsidies on petrol would add significant value to Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves on the macroeconomic level.
He said deregulation of the sector would increase competition, operational efficiency, mergers and acquisitions, increase incentives to invest and capital investment inflow.