In a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, the Federal Government has disclosed plans to soon announce a policy that will require operating firm to refine locally at least 20% of the crude oil they produce in Nigeria.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu was quoted to have made the disclosure at the ground-breaking of a modular refinery being developed by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company in Imo State.
While affirming the Nigerian Government has no other option of enforcing the 20% on oil firms, Kachikwu expressed that the percentage would increase to 50% in the next five years.
The Federal Government has since prioritised the production of locally refined oil for local use and to boost oil revenue.
Kachikwu stated that the government remained committed to completely revamp the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna by 2019, with a target of processing about 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
He regretted that continued importation of refined petroleum products has cost the nation huge sums of money, describing it as a waste of foreign exchange and loss of jobs.
In May 2018, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, gave licenses to 13 firms to establish modular refineries.
A total of 35 firms expressed interest to establish the refineries, indicating less than half got the approvals from the department of petroleum resources.
According to a statement obtained by newsmen, Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) made this known.
The establishment of modular refineries is one of the key policies of the Buhari administration to resolve agitation in the Niger Delta, where most of Nigeria’s crude is located. The government hopes to use the modular refineries to stop illegal refining of crude and also create employment and wealth among residents of the Niger Delta.