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Petrol minister sets up another task force, pledges increased refining capacity – Daily Trust

Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, today inaugurated the National Refineries Task Force and pledged government’s commitment to meet the nation’s local refining capacity through a holistic refurbishment of the nation’s refineries.

“We are committed to meeting the local refining capacity of the nation through a holistic and well-integrated refurbishment of the refineries,’’ she said.

The minister gave the task force 60 working days to submit its report for necessary actions to be taken.

Alison-Madueke decried the deplorable state of the refineries and stressed the need to reverse the negative trend in the interest of the nation.

She said that government was working hard to reduce fuel importation to the barest minimum through the refurbishment of the nation’s refineries and building of Greenfield refineries.

The minister charged the task force to work with relevant stakeholders to review the operations of the three major refineries and produce a diagnostic report with a view to improving their efficiency and commercial viability.

She, however, said that the task force was without prejudice to the on-going rehabilitation and turn-around maintenance of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries as well as the building of Greenfield refineries in the country.

The chairman of the task force and former finance minister, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, pledged the commitment of his colleagues to the national assignment.

“We are aware of the nation’s expectations and we are committed to giving our best in line with the terms of reference,’’ he said.

He said that the taskforce would ensure that the nation’s refineries work at optimal capacity and review the licenses issued to private refineries with a view to ascertaining their readiness to start operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 22-member task force has Mallam Yusuf Alli (alternate chairman), Prof. Ayo Ogunye, Mr Imo Itsueli, M.B. Shehu, Olumuyiwa Ajibola, Dr N.J.D. Erinne, Alex Ogedengbe, Mallam Bello Maccido, Emeka Chikezie Ene, Mr Stanley Lawson, Mr Akin Kekere-Ekun,

Others are Mrs Fatima Wali-Abdulrahman, Mallam Abba Dabo and Harcourt Adukeh, Mrs Mayen Adetiba, PENGASSAN President, Mr Babatunde Ogun and NUPENG President Mr Achese Igwe.

The task force also has the Group Executive Director (GED), Refining and Petrochemicals, NNPC and Managing Directors of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries as members.

The terms of reference of the taskforce include working with a world-class firm to audit the finances of the refineries and design a roadmap for self-sufficiency in local production of petroleum products in Nigeria, among others. (NAN)

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