It is now being said that the only solution to end the perennial fuel scarcity in the country is in the decision to compel oil exploration companies to build refineries in Nigerian.
Engineer Lucky Akhiwe, the Vice President of the south-south chambers of commerce, made the observation during the week, when he spoken with our correspondent in an exclusive interview at the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa.
According to Engineer Akhiwe who is also the chairman of Oil Flow Services, said the only solution to end the embarrassing fuel scarcity in the country, was for the Federal Government to have strong political will and compel the major oil exploration companies to build at least three refineries in the country.
This decision he noted was being made all over the world and all the federal Government needs to do is to make a condition for oil companies to have it as part of their lease agreement to build a refineries of at least 300 barrels of petrol per day or have their lease canceled. These refineries he further noted must not be modular ones but refineries that could produce about 300 barrels a day and any major exploration company that fails to do so should have their lease agreement terminated by the Federal Government.
Apart from the refineries, the oil companies should also be made to build power plants, as part of their obligations to the nation and their contribution to boost the electricity generation in the country.
The chamber of commerce, he explained, had on several occasions, engaged the Federal Government on the need to make these decisions but regrets that the government lacks the strong political will to do so .
This he said was unfortunate because these companies make their money here and go thereby take it as an advantage because they are not asked to plague back their wealth into the country. “I tell you, if this decision is taken, we can buy fuel at
N30 per liter in this country and we can have enough electricity generated into our homes and industries’’.
On the development of the modular refineries as proposed by the Federal Government, Engr. Akhiwe explained the modular refineries idea was feasible but regretted that the Federal Government was not helping the matter because of the stiff and bottle neck conditions. “How can you ask people to start paying $150,000 as a condition to get the license, even when the procedure is not clear and how can you ask community people to pay such amount as a condition to start a modular refinery, where will they produce the money’’?