Petroleum marketing tycoon and chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Ifeanyi Ubah has advised Anambra State government to facilitate building of refinery in the state to fully utilize its petroleum resources.
Anambra State was declared an oil producing state on August 30, 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan but its oil wealth has largely remained untapped as Orient Petroleum and Petrochemicals Refinery project licensed to take off since 2002 stalled.
Now, Ubah believes that no commercial gain had been made from the petroleum potentials of the state so far because the sector had not been positioned to maximise the benefits. “We cannot export because the river to berth vessels is not there now and we cannot join the consolidation of crude like Escravos that serves as national grid for producers.”
According to him, apart from low production of crude in the state, the prerequisite structure to commercialise production were lacking due to undeveloped products transportation system. “Since these structures have not been developed, what Anambra needs now is to strategise so that it maximises what is available,” he said.
To achieve that, he suggested that the state government build a top up refinery to internally refine its crude and make it attractive to other states. “To become a competitive player in the industry, the state must create an advantage like having a refinery; it is possible for a state to build if the person in power has the right attitude.
“I believe that Gov. Willie Obiano can do it but it depends on his advisers and the advice they give him,” he stressed.
On the lingering land squabbles and occasional conflicts between communities caught up in the oil belt of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi boundaries, the Nnewi born-petroleum marketer sue for dialogue.
“For me there is no problem without solution. What is important is for the states to have a formidable conflict resolution team and the crisis will be resolved. Issues like that have come up in the past and they were amicably resolved,” he said.
By Olisemeka Obeche