By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA -President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to work more closely with the indigenous oil producers boost domestic refining capacities.
The president gave the directive while meeting with members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association in the Presidential Villa.
Led by its spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Oil, Mr. Austin Avuru, the Association which which represents about 20 Nigerian companies operating mainly on onshore fields had intimated President Buhari of its resolve to build private refineries and increase local production to 1.2 million barrels per day by the year 2020.
While commending the determination of the group to increase the participation of Nigerians in the country’s oil industry, the president pledged his administration’s support and assistance to the project.
“We have the manpower for a more effective participation in our oil industry. We will give you all possible encouragement. You certainly won’t be ignored under my leadership,” he said.
The President also assured the oil producers that the present administration will take appropriate actions to maintain and enhance security in their areas of operation, noting that better security will help to lower production costs, which, he said, had become unnecessarily high in the country.