The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is considering equity participation in private refineries in the country.
Financial analysts had expressed divergent views over the proposed plan by the national oil company to acquire a 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote refinery.
The decision, the NNPC explained, was in line with the federal government’s policy directive, which stipulates the mandatory participation of the corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity.
According to the federal government, the directive enables NNPC to uphold its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
Kennie Obateru, NNPC’s Group General Manager (Group Public Affairs Division), said in a statement on Monday.
Mr Obateru disclosed that the corporation identified at least six refinery projects it intends to seek equity participation.
Five of them are at the developmental stage, with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them.
According to him, the NNPC has a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation’s hydrocarbon resources, adding value to the resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and other stakeholders.
The roles, he noted, would enable it to achieve the twin objectives of providing energy security for the country and stimulating the nation’s economic development and growth.
He added NNPC’s strategic objective to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources required it to consider strategic partnerships with competent investors in the oil and gas value chain, especially where it currently operated on a sole risk basis.
“The oil refining sector is one of such segments where NNPC is revisiting its strategy in order to strengthen domestic refining capacity and guarantee national energy security.
“The new vision is to grow domestic refining capacity, improve petroleum products supply from our local refineries and become a net exporter of petroleum products,” Mr Obateru said.
He noted that the move to seek equity participation in private refineries would not undercut NNPC’s commitment to rehabilitate federal government-owned refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.