The source who preferred to remain anonymous said the Presidency and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Agency (NSIA) are collaborating to realize the plan, in fulfillment of promises made by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo during his tour of the oil region, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The core of the plan is to integrate the illegal refiners, rather than a scorched-earth policy that seeks to eliminate the operations of such refiners.
The source, however, explained that there are some issues to be sorted out, besides figuring out the financial models that would be workable and profitable.
“At a meeting late last week at the Presidential Villa, issues around technical and engineering implications of how to integrate the refiners were discussed, and this was first proposed by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
”Experts reported that they have worked closely with the NNPC, Oil & Gas operators, owners of marginal fields, operators of refineries and various technical services providers “to develop a workable system to develop this initiative,’’ the source further disclosed.
The Federal Government could consider supplying crude oil to the local refineries at a reasonably considered price, as an incentive to stop the current practice whereby the illegal refiners vandalize and steal the crude.
Once the refinery is fully operational, It would also prevent the environment degradation that the spills and damaged trunk lines have been causing.
The marginal field operators could also supply crude to the new modular refineries that would have the illegal refiners merged.
“Once the plan is executed, It will also involve the current illegal refiners and their communities as shareholders while the NDDC and the NSIA will also hold substantial holdings/equity sufficient to make the smaller refineries operational as a business and a going concern.
“To facilitate effective community engagements, an MOU would be established under the plan with the affected communities determining the communities share, while the FG would supervise the implementation, which would be driven largely by industry operators and the communities,’’ the source added.
When contacted, Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, confirmed that a meeting was held last week on the issue adding that “the Buhari presidency is actively working on all fronts to speedily deliver on its promise of a ‘new vision,’ in the Niger Delta’’.