By Isaac Anumihe
Owners of private refineries in Nigeria have urged the government to show more support and encouragement to Nigerian investors who have been given licences to build refineries in the country, so as to discourage importation of the products.
The private refineries owners, under the aegis of the Association of Private Refineries Owners of Nigeria (APRON) submitted that they have what it takes to meet the local demands for petroleum products, and have surplus for export, thereby saving the country the much needed foreign exchange being expended on importation of the products.
APRON through its Vice Chairman, Ibrahim Hamzat, disclosed that many foreign investors have signified their willingness to provide funds for the building of refineries. This, they claim will generate employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians. So, when the youths are employed, they said, crime rate in the country will reduce..
They therefore called on the government to refrain from making statements capable of creating doubts in the minds of foreign investors, warning that should their foreign partners withdraw their interest, it would affect the enormous funds the members had committed into their various projects, especially in the establishment of hydrocarbon-processing plants also known as refineries.
They made particular reference to a statement credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that the government was going to revoke licences granted to some investors to build refineries, for failing to utilise the licences effectively and efficiently.