President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Finance to set up an inter-ministerial committee to fashion out modalities for raising financial support for indigenous oil companies in the entire oil and gas value chain.
Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, disclosed this at Aguleri-Otu during the inauguration of Orient Petroleum Anambra River Production Facility in Anambra State.
She explained that such indigenous companies like Orient, which are ready to invest not only in production, but also in refining to add value to the crude oil and gas locally before exporting, would generate employment for the youth and more money for the country.
Alison-Madueke expressed satisfaction with the project which is the first oil production from an inland basin in Nigeria, explaining that the significance of the event was not just in the discovery and production of oil from an inland basin, but in the fact that the feat was achieved by an indigenous company.
"This shows the way we want to go in the industry; we want to encourage more indigenous oil companies to emulate Orient Petroleum Resources in investing not just in production but also in refining. We are working with the Ministry of Finance to set up an inter-ministerial committee to work out ways to give financial support to indigenous companies to bring in modular refineries," she said.
The Managing Director of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc, Engr. Nnaemeka Nwawka, who spoke earlier, had explained the challenges the company faced in raising funds for the projects, adding that banks have not been too keen in funding the refinery project which is very capital intensive.