The Crude Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), the umbrella body of indigenous crude oil refiners, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to create a crude refinery intervention fund for its members.
Its Secretary, Mr Olusegun Ilori, made the appeal in a statement after a visit by some CORAN members to the leadership of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja.
According to him, the fund, like the Agricultural Credit Fund or the Pharmaceutical Fund domiciled at the CBN, will help to drive effective business operations in the industry.
Ilori said that the visit, led by their Board of Trustee’s Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Iheanacho, was to interact with all relevant regulatory agencies after CORAN formal registration.
The secretary said he was directed to present CORAN’s position, and appealed to the Authority to ensure that all incentives that were given to Dangote Refinery are also extended to other refineries.
Ilori urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation limited, NMDPRA and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to engage with the licensed modular refineries to develop an appropriate commercial model that would guarantee reliable feedstock.
He also stated that NMDPRA renewal fee of modular refinery license guidelines to be revisited and possibly reduced by way of 50 per cent waiver.
Ilori, however, said that it should be on the company-by-company assessment, and granted to only companies with credible challenges.
The secretary noted that annual monitoring of modular refineries should be carried out by the authority to ensure compliance with government policies.
He said NNPC should consider taking equity or grant loans to modular refineries via the provision of reformer or other requirement units to ensure adequate production of PMS based on agreed offtake conditions.
Ilori also suggested that the issuance of the import duty waivers for modular refinery equipment be done by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He, however, said that this should be after due certification of the equipment that qualified for waiver had been done by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
He also said that modular refinery owners with evidence of feedstock challenge be given preference in allocation of NNPC crude oil.
Ilori 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 the same way in the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) will have to collaborate with the 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 are sent to the ministry by NMDPRA.
“The ministry should liaise with the Nigerian Immigration Service to resolve problems associated with issuance of expatriate Quota,” he said.
Responding to CORAN by the management of NMDPRA, led by Mr Francis Ogaree, Executive Director Hydrocarbons Processing Plants, Installation and Transportation Infrastructure (HPPITI), said that he appreciated the association for the visit.
He assured the team of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensuring that more refineries are functional.
Ogaree further assured CORAN of the Authority’s support and urged them to reach out to the committee that would be set up to work with refineries.
He hinted at a database of challenges and progress reports on its operations.
Also, Dr Zainab Gobir, Executive Director, Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning (ERSP), NMDPRA, assured that her office would create a dialogue for more communication between the refiners and the Authority.
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