By Daniel Adugbo
There is an absolute urgency for Nigeria to begin to address her infrastructural problems, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said yesterday.
Referring specifically to the downstream subsector of the oil and gas industry, Kachikwu stated that around $10 billion investment would be required in the next three decades to fix the country’s downstream infrastructure deficit alone.
The minister said this in a keynote address at the 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference convened by consulting firm CSR-in-Action and other government agencies, held in Abuja.
SITEI, held yearly, has since 2012, served as a platform for stimulating meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices in the oil industry.
Kachikwu said that the country has gotten to a critical point where its crude oil pipeline, refinery product conveyance pipeline and everything other downstream infrastructure were in a state of decay.
Usually, refining of crude oil and processing of gas, as well as marketing and distribution of petroleum products make up Nigeria’s downstream sector.
The Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action Bekeme Masade said that this year’s conference intend to address the opportunities and challenges that may be faced in the transition of local refiners and artisanal miners towards national and global competitiveness.
“This year’s SITEI Conference, with the theme “Building Local for Global”, is to facilitate thought leadership amongst the key stakeholders in order to build our local refineries and mines and develop indigenous entrepreneurs not only for national development, but to achieve global competitiveness,” she said.