…Signs Agreement With U. S Firm On Private Refinery.
By Jennifer Okereafor:
The Chairman and Chief Executive of Integrated Oil and Gas Company Limited and former Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheancho has disclosed his intention to be in forefront of filling the gap of Nigeria’s wealth creation needs. Iheancho made the disclosure, Friday, during a grant signing ceremony by the U. S Trade and Development Agency (UDTDA) and Eko Petrochem and Refining Company Limited official presentation at Tomaro Island Lagos. He made it clear that the company’s intention was to create an industrial park of international standard which will be the model that will attract international investors and businesses to the country. Capt Iheanacho said that the refinery could produce 20,000 barrels per day, adding that the project will cost a total sum of $250 Million. He expressed optimism that the grant from the USTDA will help towards realizing the project in due course.
The shipping magnet noted that when realized, the company will help in no small measure for Nigeria to make more profit from oil, as it will promote local production of refined petrochemical products, solve the problem of crude oil export and import of finished products, and as well serve as transfer of technology to the country.
Speaking at the event Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu who was represented by Engr. Rabiu Suleiman noted that one of the problems confronting the establishment of private refineries in the country is lack of funds. He expressed optimism that with the partnership of the USTDA, the vision of Eko petrochemical company will be realized. He noted that one of his promises when he became a minister of petroleum was that if by 2018 Nigeria had not become self sufficient petroleum products, he will resign his appointment.
The Minister urged Iheancho to help save his job by ensuring that the projects is actualized. In his remarks,the representative of US government at the event and USA Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington described Iheancho as a Captain of ship that has now become a pilot of a country. He assured that the US government is solidly behind the project which he said will help in no small measure to uplift the economy of Nigeria.
Also speaking, the acting Director of US Trade and Development Agency, Thomas Hardy said the project when fully realized will be of immense benefit to both Nigeria and USA. He said it will greatly increase Nigeria refined oil production. He promised the agency’s full partnership with Eko Petrochem, while thanking Capt Iheancho for sharing his vision with them and the general public. Delivering the vote of thanks the Group Manager Integrated Oil and Gas Limited Engr. Tony Iheancho thanked the guests that graced the occasion and promised that the company will live up to expectations