Osinbajo to declare conference open virtually
By Chris Ochayi & Fortune Eromosele
ABUJA: A head of the next month passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the National Assembly, NASS, the Federal Government yesterday, declare its intention to host a national summit on the integration of artisanal, modular refineries in the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said most of the issues to be addressed are such issues that will require legislation.
According to him, the conference is intended to formally announce the convening and holding of a National conference on artisanal and modular refineries in the country for the purpose of integrating local refining capacity into the refining of petroleum products in Nigeria, namely petrol, diesel, kerosene and other petro chemical products.
He added that the essence of the conference is to mobilize all Nigerian assets including technologies engineers, intellectuals of all disciplines, including persons who have been operating, handling and producing petroleum products at the creeks.
“Their works are damaging to the environment, we call them illegal refinery operators. They are also called domestic refinery owners operators of Nigeria and they are represented here by their Chairman, we have mobilized them and they will be present at the event”, he said.
Enang stated that the conference will be holding on the 16 and 17 of March 2021 at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja. He emphasized that the intent of the conference is to mobilize resources that can bring the price of petroleum products to as low as N100 per litre.
“As the cost of crude goes higher, the cost of refined petroleum products goes higher, if we refine these petroleum products in Nigeria the cost will be very low”, he added.
Senator Ita Enang, however, explained that the urgency of hosting the conference is because the National Assembly has promised to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by April this year.
He said “Most of the issues that are going to be addressed are such issues that will require legislation. The urgency is so that any agreement that is reached which requires legislation will be accommodated in the PIB. Most of the issues we are going to address are relevant to existing laws in the petroleum industry.”
Enang said that the Office of the Adivser of Niger Delta Affairs is in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, led by the Minister in organizing the conference, mobilizing and pulling together the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Environment.
Others are Ministry of Science and Technology, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as well as the Presidential Amnesty Program office and the Niger Delta Affairs Commission.
“We have also invited the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, they are developing modular refinery which is producing petrol, diesel, kerosene and all others with the Ahmadu Bello University, they will also be here to show us the process of refining which will increase our capacity”, he added.
He maintained that with these available potentials in Nigeria put together, the purpose of regenerating the local refining capacity in Nigeria will be achieved. According to Enang the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will declare the conference open virtually.
“We believe that we will be able to bring up the Nigerian refining capacity to reduce the cost of importation of fuel, this conference will help protect our environment because the persons who have been refining in the creeks, taking crude oil illegally have come out and will be present at the conference.
“And they will come for this conference to ask the government to integrate their skills, technology to the refining process”, he added.
Enang stressed that the conference is not for the purpose of legitimizing illegitimate refineries, but for the purpose of bringing them together, showing them technology, integrating them into the legal legitimate refining process to stop all illegalities that has been happening in the sector.
He urged all technologist, engineers, institutions, public sector, oil industry and all persons who have interest on technology to register at www.nsiaro.com.