CBN Seeks to Boost the Operations of indigenous oil refiners
CORAN, the umbrella body of indigenous crude oil refiners in Nigeria, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish crude refinery intervention funds, similar to the Agricultural Credit Fund and Pharmaceutical Fund, which are domiciled in the country to drive effective business operations.
Emmanuel Iheanacho, chairman of their board of trustees, made the appeal during their visit to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja.
The meeting, which was in a bid to interact with all relevant regulatory agencies, after CORAN formal registration and was chaired by the NMDPRA’s executive director, Hydrocarbons Processing Plants, Installation and Transportation Infrastructure (HPPITI), Mr. Francis Ogaree.
The secretary of CORAN, Barrister Olusegun Ilori, appealed to the authority to ensure that all incentives that were given to Dangote Refinery are also extended to other refineries.
The association urged NNPC/NMDPRA and NUPRC to engage with the licensed modular refineries in order to develop an appropriate commercial model that would guarantee reliable feedstock
CORAN also stated that NMDPRA renewal fee of modular refinery license guidelines be revisited and possibly reduced by way of 50 per cent waiver.
They, however, said, it should be on the company-by-company assessment, and granted to only companies with credible challenges.
The association suggested for annual monitoring of modular refineries to be carried out by the Authority to ensure compliance with government policies.
The group said NNPC should consider taking equity or grant loans to modular refineries via the provision of reformer/other requirement units to ensure adequate production of PMS based on agreed offtake conditions.
They suggested that the issuance of the import duty waivers for modular refinery equipment be done by the Federal Ministry of Finance after due certification of the equipment that qualified for waiver is done by the ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The CORAN said that modular refinery owners with evidence of feedstock challenge be given preference in allocation of NNPC crude oil.
It suggested that crude oil from the NNPC be sold to modular refinery owners in naira equivalent for that day with guarantee that all the refined PMS be sold in naira equivalent for that day in-country.
According to them, “ the federal ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) to collaborate with ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR) on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with the view of creating a Petroleum refining hub in Nigeria while leveraging on the Agreement;
“Quarterly progress reports on modular refinery projects be sent to the ministry by NMDPRA.
“The ministry should liaise with Nigerian Immigration Service to resolve problems associated with issuance of expatriate Quota.”
Responding, executive director, Hydrocarbons Processing Plants, Installation and Transportation Infrastructure (HPPITI), NMDPRA,Mr Francis Ogaree and the executive director Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning (ERSP), Dr. Zainab Gobir appreciated the association for coming and assured the team that Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari is committed to see that more refineries are functional.
Ogaree further assured CORAN of the authority’s support and urged they should reach out to the committee that will be setup to work with refineries and hinted of a database of challenges and progress report on operations.
Similarly, Engr. J.G Musa and Mrs. Ngozi Nwokocha addressed the issues of license renewal fees and the need for CORAN to actively participate in the regulations concerning Midstream and Downstream some of which has been concluded with our members not making their input.
The ED Economic planning also mentioned that with regular consultation some of the CORAN’s issues could be raised at Economic policy levels, pledging support for the association.
Gobir assured that her office will create a dialogue for more communication between the refiners and the authority.
The association has been assured of the government’s economic strategic plan to boost refining in Nigeria from a 0.01 per cent to 1 per cent.