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Forcing IOCs to own refineries best bet for development in Niger Delta—PENGASSAN

A strategic development policy has been canvassed to drive massive development in the oil rich Niger Delta.

In his message at the May Day 2018 rally, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) President, Mr. Olabode Johnson said having tried several strategies that failed; time has come for the federal government to try the option making it mandatory for international oil companies operating in the country to build refineries within their production communities.

He said the first step will be for the government to develop a legal framework that would make the investment very attractive for the IOCs, adding that a deal can include allowing IOCs to refine a certain percentage of the crude oil they produce locally and export others.

Johnson explained that “There should be a legal framework allocating certain percentage of the production by international oil companies operating in Nigeria for refining in the country through a policy that will compel them to build refineries in Nigeria”.

While commending the 8th National Assembly for passing the first part of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), he noted that “the feat could not be achieved by four generations of the National Assembly in 13 years”.

He advised the current lawmakers to expedite action on the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill to ensure the delivery of the full benefits of the intended oil and gas reforms.

PENGASSAN also condemned contract and casual employment regimes, as well as offshoring of jobs, arguing that “These were tactically and steadily taking over permanent employment and increasing unemployment in Nigeria”.