Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, has said that the Federal Government was planning to legalise Modular Refineries in the country.
Enang made this known when he featured on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that his office had, over a period of time, engaged some artisanal (illegal) oil refiners in the Niger Delta region and had seen the need to legalise their operations.
According to him, some of the artisanal refiners can produce chains of petroleum products and supply them for consumption in the country.
The Presidential aide said that engaging the artisanal refiners would go a long way to save cost for the country and boost revenue generation.
“They might not produce much to feed Nigeria and neighbouring countries, but there are refineries in neighbouring countries we take our crude oil to, for refining.
“We pay export and import, and there are still subsidy elements in it. By the time you engage these persons, they will just be producing for you.
“You do not pay for import or export, you do not pay any of the port authorities’ charges unless you transport the products by sea.
“By so doing, you will be improving their capacity and you will bring down the cost of refined petroleum products drastically. So, there will be no element of subsidy,’’ he added.
He noted that with development in the global oil market, there would be uncertainty after the COVID-19 situation in terms of the demand of oil which would help to shore up oil prices.
Enang said that Nigeria, according to the NNPC, has vessels with products yet to be sold which were incurring costs.
He assured Nigerians that there would be continuous engagement with stakeholders and even the legislature to seek understanding of all.
Commenting on the state of the refineries, he said that it was unfortunate that Nigeria had lost quite a lot of money on the maintenance of the facilities.(NAN)