The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has revealed that it is currently considering equity participation in a number of private refineries in the country.
The NNPC in a statement last night said the move is in line with a Federal Government's policy directive, which stipulates the mandatory participation of the Corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity in keeping with its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
In this regard, the Corporation has identified at least six refinery projects in which it intends to seek equity participation, five of them are at the development stage with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them, the statement said.
The statement by the Corporation's spokesperson, Dr. Kennie Obateru, explained that NNPC's National Oil Company of Nigeria primarily has a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation's hydrocarbon resources and adding value to the resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and other stakeholders.
"These roles enable it to achieve the twin objectives of providing energy security for the country and stimulating the nation's economic development and growth," Obateru said.
He said that NNPC's strategic objective to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources requires it to consider strategic partnerships with competent investors in sectors of the oil and gas value chain especially where it currently operates on a sole risk basis.
The oil refining sector is one of such segments where NNPC is revisiting its strategy in order to strengthen domestic refining capacity and guarantee National Energy Security, he added.
He said the new vision is to grow domestic refining capacity, improve petroleum products supply from our local refineries and become a net exporter of petroleum products.
The Corporation assured that the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries would not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its own refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.
Obateru stressed that the overall goal is to boost the nation's refining capacity with a view to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products in the soonest possible time and boosting the nation's economy.