Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) has advised the Federal Government to allow the private sector run the country’s refineries.
Mr Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, chairman of PETAN who gave the advice in Lagos said government should roll out a policy framework that would drive business activities in the downstream sector.
According to him, Refinery business is a business on its own; governments do not run such businesses. It was good at the initial stage for government to kick-start such investments and be able to build capacity.
Speaking further, Okoroafor said Nigerian government or any government for that matter has no capacity to run refineries.
The chairman also noted that it is illegal and criminal for foreign oil companies to get jobs in onshore and swamp when competent indigenous companies are available.
He said that the association is keen to achieve value added local content that gives values to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“There is a Nigerian Content Law which states that onshore, swamp jobs should be given to Nigerian companies.
So any job that can be done by PETAN companies or by a competent Nigerian should not be given to somebody outside the country, ,” Okoroafor said.
He said that where the capacity and capability exists in-country, such jobs should be given to Nigerian companies.
Okoroafor recalled during the militancy days, foreign expatriates fled the Niger Delta region while indigenous company workers continued with their production without fear of being kidnapped.
“Nobody can develop our country better than we can do. But anywhere that the capability does not exist in-country, anybody can do the job.
But where the capability exist, it has to be done by a Nigerian company,’’ the PETAN chairman said, adding “We will ensure local content that builds capacity in Nigeria, local content that creates jobs in Nigeria.
“For the past 10 years, we have not grown our reserve. We must grow our reserves; we must grow our local content capacity.
It is not patronage, it is value added local content, that is jobs given to competent Nigerian companies,’’ he said.