The federal government says it has concluded plans to host a national conference on the integration of artisanal/modular petroleum refinery operations to increase refining capacity and cause a drop in the price of petroleum products.
Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, was speaking at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
Enang said the aim of the conference is to integrate local refining capacity into the refining of petroleum products such as petrol, kerosene, diesel and other petrochemical products.
NAN reports that the conference which is jointly hosted by the Office of the President and the ministry of finance, budget and national planning, will hold on March 16 and 17.
According to Enang, the essence of the conference is to mobilise all Nigerian assets including technologists, engineers and other relevant disciplines including the persons who have been producing petroleum products at the creeks.
“As the cost of crude goes higher, the cost of refined petroleum products goes higher but if we refine these petroleum products in Nigeria, the cost will be very low,” he explained.
“And, the intendment of the conference is to mobilise these resources so that we can bring the prices of refined petroleum products down to below N100 per litre.”
Enang further said that the conference would help to protect the environment.
He explained that the conference was not for the purpose of legitimising illegal mining operations but integrating the operators into the legitimate refining process.
According to him, this will stop all illegalities and create more employment for Nigerians.
He also said that the conference needs to be held urgently because “most of the issues that will be addressed at the conference are such issues that will require legislation, so any agreement that will be reached which requires legislature will be accommodated in the PIB”.