The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday urged oil giants to build signature refineries in Nigeria.
Signature refineries are bigger than modular ones but do not produce up to the large scale refineries in Nigeria.
They are built mainly to augment local need to reduce importation.
Kachikwu made the appeal at a meeting in the U. S. with oil giant, ExxonMobil, as he made a case for the deepening of investment in the Oil and Gas sector by International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
In a statement by Mr Idang Alibi, Director Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Kachikwu urged ExxonMobil to deepen its investments in the country by developing human capital.
According to him, the Federal Government is striving to reduce importation of petroleum products and the effort will be receive a boost if major IOCs operating in Nigeria build signature refineries.
He said this could be run on joint-venture basis with the Federal Government providing the necessary, needed incentives.
The minister reiterated the gains made through the signing of the repayment agreement for the Joint Venture Cash Call in 2016, saying the initial payments to the IOCs would be made by end of April.
He said it would be expedient if the IOCs reciprocated the Federal Government’s gesture and commitment by ensuring that they ramp-up investments in the sector.
Kachikwu advised ExxonMobil to invest in more practical deliveries in the area of human capital development and investment in local growth of skill sets required in the sector.
He also commended the IOC for its enduring partnership with Nigeria which, he said, had grown stronger over the years.
The company, however, commended the valued partnership with Nigeria and lauded the minister for ensuring the development of the sector.
ExxonMobil Vice-President Asia Pacific and Africa, Mr Paul Greenwood, reiterated its commitment to deliver power to Nigeria and support the gas commercialisation programme of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The meeting is part of the ongoing investment drive initiative embarked upon by the Minister of State to International Oil Companies (IOCs).
He had met with Eni in January where the Italian company pledged to work with Nigeria to revamp the Port Harcourt Refinery.
He has scheduled meetings with Shell, Chevron and Total.
Kachikwu, until his appointment as Group Managing Director of the NNPC and Minister of State, was Executive Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Africa.