The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN has said that it is against the local content law of Nigeria to give out oil refining jobs meant for local companies to foreign companies.
The group’s stand was made known at the sideline of the Modular Refiners Association of Nigeria, MRAN conference held in Lagos on Monday.
According to PETAN’s Chairman, Bank Anthony, there is nothing wrong with Nigerian companies as is the popular belief all over the world.
Mr Anthony said PETAN’s new mantra is “value added local content”, saying indigenous companies have the capacity to deliver value added services.
“Any job that can be done by PETAN or Nigerian companies should not be given to foreign companies. It is criminal. If anybody tells you that we don’t have competent companies who can handle local jobs, call me and I will show you companies who can handle those jobs, ” he said.
He said Nigeria must work hard to grow local oil reserves which requires carrying out more and proper exploration, developing them and replacing oils taken from the reserves.
“We must grow our local reserves and we competent companies that can handle all local jobs, including technical partnerships to do technical jobs,” he said.
Speaking on how indigenous companies have invested in setting up, he said millions of dollars have gone into sinking local companies which are truly interested in the growth of the country, including creating more jobs for Nigerians unlike foreign companies who take Nigeria’s money outside to develop their own countries.
“This country is ours and nobody can develop it like us. That is why you see that indigenous companies not only invest huge money, but also create jobs for Nigerians so the money stays here,”he said.
PETAN said it pushes for private participations in oil refining, saying that the rot in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry would not have surfaced if private companies are allowed into the business.
“Government has no business running companies. Their duty is just to set policies. They should sell refineries to private companies, remover their equities and allow private take over.”
He advised that government should allow market forces of demand and supply which will curb the problem of fuel scarcity in the country, take over.
“If FG can reduce their equity holding they have in the JV, they will spend less on Cash Calls and tax will reduce to encourage investment,”he said.
He also advised that the Joint Venture terms should be friendly.
“We have to cut investors and have favourable investment terms that will be a win-win situation,”he said.