Business

Oil magnate urges fed govt to compel banks to assist indigenous companies

Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., has appealed to Federal Government to compel financial institutions to make funds available to indigenous companies willing to build modular refineries.

Iheanacho made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

He spoke against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s plan to achieve 20,000 barrels modular refinery targets in 2018.

The 116 million dollars project to produce 20,000 barrel capacity modular refinery was located at Tomaro Island Port, off Takwa Bay, in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos.

“Government should come up with a policy framework that will compel financial institutions to make funds available to indigenous players that intend to build modular refineries.

“Our company’s effort has been recognised by the United States of America through which we are receiving a grant to complete the ongoing refinery project.

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“One million dollars grant has been given to us through an America firm handling our detail engineering design of the refinery.

“The grant will be used by the firm to complete all detail design, soil textures and research of the refinery from the beginning to the end,’’ he said.

Iheanacho also appealed to the government to provide the enabling environment for the Integrated Oil and Gas Company to achieve the ongoing 20,000 barrels modular refinery targets.

He said that in spite of granting of licences to potential investors, several factors hindered actual take off of many of such projects.

“Paucity of funds has become a major hindrance to the take-off of such projects.

“Local banks are not willing to fund such projects as they express fears about local capacity to managing such projects.

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“But, we have proved to possess the technical competence and engineering capabilities, yet finance is a major problem here.

“Government should make provision for financing, because it is a key requirement to do 20,000 barrels per day,” he said.

Iheanacho suggested that if government could assist operators to secure finance, it would assist them to realise some of the benefits that would drive the country’s economic growth geometrically

He said that the refinery, sited on about 90 hectares of land, was designed as one-stop shop comprising refinery, flour mill, ship repair yard, helipad site and resort centres.

The oil magnate said that it would also create massive employment for the teeming youths.

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