The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, has said that he had engaged investors to establish a refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
In a press statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC GMD, revealed this during PENGASSAN’s Triennial Retreat/Synergy workshop, which opened on Wednesday in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State capital, the state was well-positioned geographically to have a refinery.
“The investors have been coming to us; and I have seen one that is quite promising. It is in this light that I encouraged these investors to come and see the state government and discuss,” he said.
According to the statement, Baru explained that although the preferred location of the investors was not Akwa Ibom State, but he had convinced them to consider establishing the refinery there to leverage, especially on the state’s deep coastline.
The GMD called on the Akwa Ibom State Government to explore partnership opportunities provided by investors towards establishing the refinery in the state.
Speaking further at the opening of the two-day retreat themed: “Leadership and Team Building for Change in Trade Union Administration”, in Uyo, Baru called on industry players to brace up for change in the sector,
stressing that the current state of the international energy market, hence the urgent need to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries as well as the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is currently being considered by the National Assembly.
The statement further read that Baru emphasized that navigating these challenges successfully required strong, purposeful and focused leadership from stakeholders in an industry where changing regulatory and macroeconomic realities are imminent.
Baru seized the opportunity of the event to commend the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, for their role in ensuring harmony in the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry, saying, this has helped stabilize petroleum products supply across the country.
Responding, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, said the state government had been working hard towards attracting private investors to build a refinery in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr. Emmanuel who was represented at the occasion by one of his top special advisers, Pastor Umoh Bassey, urged oil companies in the country to deploy more resources to sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in their host communities, as he further extolled the strategic role of PENGASSAN in moving the nation’s economy forward.
Mr. Emmanuel challenged the industry unions to partner with their employers in the area of capacity building for the betterment of the industry.
In his welcome address, the National President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Johnson, pledged the oil workers’ union commitment to remain “true partners of progress in the nation’s Oil & Gas Industry.”
Idu Jude Abuja