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Stakeholders urge deployment of security funds for establishment of modular refineries

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To boost fuel production in Nigeria, the Federal Government has been to channel part of the funds budgeted for security agencies and pipeline protection into setting up mini and modular refineries for practitioners to refine for the nation.

In a communiqué issued at the end of a national summit on the integration of modular refineries, signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Ita Enang, the stakeholders also implored the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to liaise with sovereign wealth funds, multi-lateral funds and the Federation Account for the special fund to address modular and artisanal refineries, with the refunds structured in a way similar to what obtained with the power sector and the Paris Club largesse.

According to them, waivers must be granted to fast- track licensing of the facilities in Nigeria.

They added that intervention agencies must be mandated to support, sponsor training and sensitisation for mini refining operators, fabricators and researchers.

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The meeting submitted that individuals and organisations establishing refineries in the region should be encouraged to partner with indigenous mini refiners for ease and smooth integration, knowledge-sharing and technology transfer.

The participants pleaded with government to continually engage with the mini (illegal) refiners with a view to mainstreaming them into the sector formally.

The stakeholders charged the National Assembly and other relevant parties on legal framework that allows for swift integration of mini and modular refineries into the national economy by addressing issues raised in the Petroleum Industry Bill.

The document read in part: “That the Ministry of Petroleum Resources should establish a desk under the relevant department (Midstream Department) for modular and mini refiners’ operations and develop framework to organise the mini refinery operators into legal operations as it obtains in the mining sector.

“That a committee be set up, comprising Office of the Vice President, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its agencies, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Environment, Federal Fire Service, representatives of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Presidential Amnesty Office and Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

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“Representative of Domestic Refinery Operators among others to be empanelled to address: development of model for establishment of mini refineries, their integration into the economy, provision of feedstock (crude oil), safety and environmental best practices in the petroleum industry and generally facilitate implementation of this initiative of integrating domestic mini refineries and establishing/mainstreaming them to boost in-country refining capacity.”

It continued: “That the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should develop guidelines for licensing of mini refining operations and prescribe graduated fees commensurate with production capacity.

“To ensure national technical regulations and standards in the design, testing and construction of all critical infrastructure, as well as safety and compliance with all extant environmental laws in all phases of the mini and modular refineries.

“That relevant agencies of the Federal Government such as NNPC, PPPRA, NDDC, NASENI, PTDF, PEF, NCDMB, Presidential Amnesty Office, DPR, which are stakeholders in the oil industry, should identify, mentor and sponsor at least one pilot each of the mini refinery model developed in the country as corporate social responsibility.”

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