…Sylva promises to deliver 4 FIDs, tackle oil theft

Chibisi Ohakah

The Nigerian government has said that despite the orchestrated clamour for modular refineries, the current regime of importation of petroleum products has endured because the modular refineries are not the solution to Nigeria’s crude oil production crises.

Addressing delegates yesterday at the ongoing 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the substantive oil minister, said Nigeria is focusing on repairing the ailing refineries as a sustainable solution   

The President who was represented by the minister of state, Chief Timipreye Sylva, said government of Nigeria will continue to promote and encourage private investment in the refining sector, but would certainly not depend on the modular refineries to revitalize the sector.

 “People are talking about modular refineries, we know that modular refineries are part of the solution but they can only be part of the solution and not the solutions themselves. So, we are going to try to encourage modular refineries but before that, we are going to really focus on repairing the existing refineries to ensure that we are back on stream very shortly,” Sylva said

The minister highlighted gas development as part of government priority to fast track the industrialization drive of the country. He revealed plans to deliver Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on at least four key projects within the nation’s oil and gas industry by the end of last quarter this year.

According to him, the new vision is to bequeath a vibrant petroleum industry which shall guarantee long term strategic investments and prosperity for Nigerians. “Our plan is to ensure that in a short while, four Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) would be taken. I am sure that within the next quarter, we should be able to conclude on some of these FIDs so as to grow the industry,” the minister stated.

“As you are aware, we are focusing on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project which will address some of our power issues and encourage the setting up of local industries and businesses along different areas in Nigeria.”

Describing crude oil theft as “intractable”, Sylva said government was looking at practicable solutions to the menace. He maintained that government was also looking at the issue of reducing the cost of production through robust engagement with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) towards getting best value for all stakeholders.

Nigeria, he said, needed to lend its voice to global energy fora as they remain some of the best platforms where major decisions that impact the global energy landscape are taken.

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