The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised the Federal Government to take advantage of the technology used by illegal refineries.
According to the Chairman of IPMAN’s Enugu Depot Community, Chinedu Anyaso, Nigeria’s refining challenges could be resolved with the equipment of illegal refineries.
Anyaso, who oversees the Depot catering to Anambra, Ebonyi, and Enugu States, told NAN on Tuesday that the government should collaborate with operators of the illegal refineries as the country awaits the rehabilitation of its major refineries.
The oil marketer urged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri, to encourage the partnership Instead of chasing them and destroying their infrastructure.
“I expect that part of the Federal Government’s immediate plan is to get our local refineries working through the fixing of the four existing refineries and encouraging the establishment of modular refineries.
“The new Minister of State for Petroleum who is from the Niger Delta should encourage the government to bring operators of the illegal refineries in the creeks to the national grid.
“Instead of chasing them and destroying their infrastructure, the government should call them to be part of the solution, at least in the short term while we wait for the main refineries to resume operations. This will reduce the pressure on foreign exchange,” Anyaso said.
Recall that Dangote Refinery was scheduled to commence operation in late July or early August in 2023, however, the private refiner hasn’t begun refining crude oil, with no new timeframe set.
This has caused a setback for the government, which also projected that the Port Harcourt Refinery will be ready at the end of the year.
Note that the commencement of operation at Dangote Refinery and the Port Harcourt Refinery have been postponed on multiple occasions.
The government had depended on Dangote Refinery to bring the price of fuel down in Nigeria and end importation of petrol to save foreign exchange.