Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday said that the four refineries in the country will require between $300 million to $500 million to function effectively.
This was disclosed during an interactive meeting with the joint House of Representatives Committee on Gas Resources, Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream) and Local Content chaired by Rep Victor Nwokolo over the controversy on the recent unbundling of NNPC to 30 companies.
Kachikwu also admitted that their was a communication gap between his office and the National Assembly on the issue of unbundling of the NNPC, adding that the concerns expressed by members were legitimate.
He also said said that the “unbundling was used to qualify the sub-sects” otherwise called ‘Divisions’, and not companies as would have been applicable to the actual unbundling of the Corporation as stipulated in the PIB.
The Minister also revealed that restructuring the NNPC will help in achieving 16 to 18 month self-sufficiency of supply of Petroleum products as well as the establishment of the modular type refineries by investors as contained in the recent advert placed by the Corporation. He noted that when the 650,000 refinery planned by Dangote Group comes on-stream by 2020, it would boost domestic refining capacity, adding that the policy was to drive the oil marketers to invest in the industry going forward.
The lawmakers and the Minister resolved to work harmoniously towards the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been said to be the only way the oil and gas industry in Nigeria can fully develop.