The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has suggested the establishment of signature refineries to boost local product refining.
The suggestion is coming as government considers formerly licensing most of the illegal refineries in the Niger Delta into functional modular refinery operations.
Signature refineries are bigger than modular ones but do not produce up to the large scale refineries in Nigeria.
They are built mainly to augment local need to reduce importation.
Kachikwu made the appeal at a meeting in the U. S. with oil giant, ExxonMobil, as he made a case for the deepening of investment in the Oil and Gas sector by International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
In a statement by Mr Idang Alibi, Director Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Kachikwu urged ExxonMobil to deepen its investments in the country by developing human capital.
According to him, the Federal Government is striving to reduce importation of petroleum products and the effort will be receive a boost if major IOCs operating in Nigeria build signature refineries.
He said this could be run on joint-venture basis with the Federal Government providing the necessary, needed incentives.
The minister reiterated the gains made through the signing of the repayment agreement for the Joint Venture Cash Call in 2016, saying the initial payments to the IOCs would be made by end of April.
He said it would be expedient if the IOCs reciprocated the Federal Government’s gesture and commitment by ensuring that they ramp-up investments in the sector.
Kachikwu advised ExxonMobil to invest in more practical deliveries in the area of human capital development and investment in local growth of skill sets required in the sector.