Refineries: Dakuku Peterside urges private investment in Nigeria
By Joseph BAMIDELE
IN view of the incessant epileptic nature of Nigeria’s four refineries the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream investment has called on private investors from all around the world to consider taking advantage of opportunities the refining business by investing in Nigeria.
Honourable Dakuku Peterside, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) made the call at the Nigeria Refining Capacity Summit held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital. Nigeria, according to him represents the best potential market for petroleum products in the entire continent of Africa. And for him, the two-day summit was particularly rewarding as participants who where made up of the best brains in the industry shared information and knowledge on Nigeria’s market potentials and the challenges facing the country in the area of petroleum products needs.
“I can assure you that this summit provided us opportunity to ask and answer some very critical national questions that have militated against the attainment of self sufficiency in petroleum products refining in our country”, he said.
Peterside however added that in the days ahead, the dividends of this summit will become manifest. According to him, “we have asked questions bordering on these limiting factors. For instance, why is it that none of the twenty private refineries that received their licenses since 2000 are yet to become operational? We also raised issues around the effect of our prevailing economic environment on investment in refineries”
The gathering which was declared open by Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Speaker of the House of Representatives also challenged the assumption that if you deregulate the downstream sector, investment will immediately flow automatically. There were also sessions that examined economic models used in other clime to attain self sufficiency in petroleum products and the business creativity, regulatory reform and legislative engineering needed for robust downstream development.
The two-day summit was attended by stakeholders and participants from far and near. They included Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State; Senator Magnus Abe and Engineer Austin Oniwon of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, among others.