....Moves to employ 100,000 Nigerians
By Benjamin Umuteme
ABUJA---Nigeria’s oil production is set to receive a further boost as EPIC refinery and petrochemical has concluded plans to invest $30 billion US dollars in the building of 100,000 barrels per day refinery in Oporoma, Bayelsa State.
Giving details of their investment plans in a power point presentation to Nigeria’s minister of state for Trade and Investment Mr. Samuel Ortom in Abuja, Managing Director, EPIC refinery, Mr. Barago Wenke Jr. said EPIC is motivated by the huge growing demand for petroleum product and power supply within Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
The project would be a joint venture arrangement between EPIC Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Limited and Sino-Asia Energy Group, Beijing, China.
A breakdown of the project indicated that $10 billion US dollars will go into the construction of the refinery and logistics while $20 billion US dollars would be channelled to the upstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Wenke Jr. pointed out that Epic refinery when completed will provide over 100,000 jobs.
“The funds are there, right now, we have employed some persons in Nigeria. We have started creating jobs, we have over a 100 staff and within the next two weeks, work will commence on site, ”he added.
In his remark, Ortom assured them of government’s support through the provision of necessary incentives that would drive the growth of their investment.
He noted that the refinery when established will shore-up local production of petroleum products and put an end to importation.
Nigeria, the world’s seventh largest exporter of crude oil is yet to past the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) five years after it was submitted to the legislature.
This, analysts say has further slowed investment inflow into the oil and gas sector of Nigeria's economy