10 April 2012

Nigeria: Local Refining - House Committee Woos Investors

The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has called on investors in the refining sub-sector to take advantage of the abundance opportunities in the sub-sector.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, who made the call to mark the end of the recent Nigeria Refining Capacity Summit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State, noted that Nigeria represented the best potential market for petroleum products in the entire continent of Africa.

He stated that 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.

He however added that in the days ahead, the dividends of this summit would become manifest.

"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," he said.

The two-day summit, which was declared open by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, also challenged the assumption that if the downstream sector was deregulated, investment would 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 summit was attended by key stakeholders and other participants, including Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.

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