By Victor Ahiuma-Young
AS controversy continues to trail government planned deregulation of the downstream sector of the nationâ€™s petroleum industry, Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN) has called for a time frame to end importation of petroleum products into the country.
LAWAN, an umbrella body for Labour Editors and Correspondents reporting labour and industrial issues in the country, at the end of its monthly meeting recently, demanded that those who want to participate in up and downstream sectors of the industry should be given a time frame not later than four years to build refineries in the country.
Flowing from that, the government should provide necessary infrastructure and conducive environment for private refineries to come on stream, stressing that the nation should also be an exporter of refined products.
The group lamented that the greatest challenge facing the sector was corruption and government insincerity to address the issue of corruption and other challenges facing the petroleum and gas industry.
According to LAWAN, â€œthere must be a time frame for local refineries to emerge. A time frame of not less than three years and not more than four years should given to all those who want to participate in down stream and even upstream.
â€œThey should be compelled to build refineries in Nigeria. The existing four public refineries should be concessioned and not privatised.â€