By Michael Eboh & Ediri Ejoh
Abuja—The Federal Government, yesterday, hinted that it is not going back on its plans for illegal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta, stating that it was working assiduously to ensure that the initiative comes to fruition.
Speaking at the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics/International Association for Energy Economics, NAEE/IAEE, 10th Annual International Conference in Abuja, Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that the Federal Government was committed to the initiative it is pursuing to incorporate the illegal refiners into the new modular refineries scheme.
Kachikwu, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Mr. Bello Gusau, said that already, the Federal Government had in the past few weeks, open and constructive discussions with some of the illegal refiners.
“The government is assiduously working to ensure that this initiative is carefully implemented without any hindrance,” Kachikwu noted.
Also speaking, President of NAEE, Mr. Wumi Iledare, lamented that the volatility in the foreign exchange market in the country, the collapse of crude oil prices, and insecurity of assets in the Niger Delta have continued to pose a challenge to managing the cost of petroleum operations in Nigeria.
He disclosed that the low oil prices would have offered a comparative advantage to Nigeria’s economy, if the country had harnessed the economic potentials in the entire petroleum industry value chain before now.
However, he noted that the potential to grow the economy using oil and gas was still there to grab.