If granted the opportunity, oil marketers are set to fix Nigeria’s dysfunctional refineries and get the facilities running in the shortest possible time.
Operators of retail outlets in the downstream sector called on the Federal Government to allow oil marketers to run some of the country’s ailing refineries.
It was gathered that oil marketers under the aegis of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria had contacted financial and technical partners on what would be required to effectively run the refineries.
Nigeria’s refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri have been dormant in terms of crude oil refining for several years despite huge expenses incurred on the facilities by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
On November 23, The PUNCH exclusively reported that a total of N81.41bn was expended on the refineries between January and August this year but the facilities refined no drop of crude oil through this period.
To address this, oil marketers told The PUNCH correspondent in Abuja that they had the capacity to get the refineries working and were speaking with technical and financial partners on this.
“The government should call on oil marketers to come and take one or two of the refineries, seek financial and technical partners and make the refineries work,” the President, PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, said.
He added, “We don’t have to predicate our petroleum product prices on international indices. We have four refineries and a few modular refineries that are already on stream now.
“So, there should be a way of domesticating our prices, which should be by making sure that we have crude oil available for these refineries to refine and sell domestically first.
“Get PETROAN to run one or two of the refineries because we have the capacity to make sure our refineries work.
“We are offering to partner the government and NNPC to run the refineries on acceptable business strategies and profit-sharing processes.”
He said all retail outlet owners in the downstream sector across the country had always wanted the refineries to work and that was what dealers were now asking for.
Gillis-Harry said, “We should be given Warri and Port Harcourt refineries and partner government in reviving them, refine crude oil and control our prices, which we can do.”
He said oil marketers were also capable of buying the facilities if the government so desired.