By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Federal Government says it has concluded plan to hold a National Conference on integration of Artisanal/Modular Petroleum refinery operations in the country to improve the capacity of the products.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Office of the Presidency in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will hold the conference on March 16 and 17.
Enang noted that the outcome of the summit would help to crash the prices of petroleum products in the country.
He said that the aim of the conference was for the purpose of integrating local refining capacity into the refining of petroleum products such as petrol, kerosene, diesel and other petrolchemical products.
According to him, the essence of the conference is to mobilse all Nigerian assets including technologists, engineers and other relevant disciplines including the persons who have been producing petroleum products at the creeks.
He said, “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.
“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 urgency of holding the conference was because the National Assembly had promised to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by April.
“Most of the issues that will be addressed at the conference are such issues that will require legislature, so any agreement that will be reached which requires legislature will be accommodated in the PIB,” he said.