Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has declared that state-owned refineries would make direct payments into the federation account, starting from next year.
The refineries are subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which is the body expected to make the payments.
Kachikwu, who is also the NNPC Group Managing Director revealed that the corporation is working towards giving the refineries some sort of autonomy, without privatising them.
A statement issued by the NNPC spokesperson, Ohi Alegbe, quotes him as saying that high level discussions were under-way with local and international investors to bridge funding gap in the sector.
The Minister said, “The new model is that refineries would now buy their own crude oil, refine it and make remittances to the federation account allocation committee.
“They would operate a semi autonomy system that would enable them to run in a profitable manner.”
The statement also noted that the federal government is ready to raise funds from international investors and the private sector in 2016 to fund the joint venture.
He assured that the initiative is a measure that would ensure that the government does not bear the burden of funding capital intensive projects in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry alone.
The minister asserted that the NNPC’s over 5000 km of pipelines across the country would be privatised in order to enhance efficient management of the infrastructure and bring pipeline vandalism to the barest minimum.
On the December deadline for the refineries to start working, Kachikwu disclosed that reports at his disposal indicate that two of the refineries were likely to meet the deadline.