Nigeria: African Refiners Hail Nigerians On Massive Investments in Oil Refining, Distribution Facilities

The African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) has applauded indigenous Nigerians operating in the midstream and downstream sector of the nation’s oil and gas industry for the massive investments they are making to boost local refining and improve petroleum products distribution.

ARDA specifically commended Rainoil Limited, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Dangote Group, Sahara Group among others, for their world-class facilities located in Lagos, saying such investments in refining, storage and distribution infrastructure were worthy of replication in other African countries.

The association stated this when a delegation led by its President, Marième Ndoye Decraene and its Nigerian-born Executive Secretary, Mr. Anibor Kragha, took a tour of the facilities of the companies.

Kragher, who spoke to journalists during the visit to Rainoil’s facilities in Ijegun, Lagos, said the team was impressed by the kind of facilities available in Nigeria, which were built by Nigerian locals.

He commended Rainoil’s genuine move to boost domestic utilisation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, in the country.

Noting that the visit was necessitated by the need for ARDA members to see the reality of the massive projects going on in Nigeria, Kragher emphasized that Rainoil was aligning with the vision of the federal government and ARDA in driving cleaner fuel in the region.

Explaining that ARDA’s vision was to serve as the leader in Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels, the executive secretary stated, “We also promote the harmonisation of cleaner fuel specifications across Africa in line with the AFRI Fuels Roadmap to avoid urban pollution and the associated health challenges. ARDA supports the implementation of a Cleaner Air Policy with a regulatory framework that considers fuels and vehicles as an integrated system.”

He also noted that the association was in Nigeria as part of its mission, which he said was focused on developing an integrated energy self-sufficiency plan for Africa that promotes the processing of African crude oil in upgraded African refineries, distribution of resulting cleaner petroleum products via African pipelines and terminals with funding primarily from African financial institutions.

Kragha said the delegation had earlier paid a courtesy call to the NNPC, the Dangote Refinery and was scheduled to visit Sahara Group to see its Egbin power plant in Ikorodu, Lagos.

He stated, “Our ultimate goal is to see how we can work together, learn from each other and drastically reduce fuel imports by upgrading the refineries and distribution infrastructure on the continent, to meet Africa’s petroleum products requirements.

“We are the first-ever pan-African non-governmental organiation that serves as the voice of the downstream oil sector in Africa and addresses economic, environmental, and social issues impacting refining, or the import and distribution of petroleum products across the continent.

“So, we are here to promote cooperation, the exchange of positive experiences and best practices between members, in order to improve their safety, technical and economic performance.

“Coming here has really given us the opportunity to see the level of world-class investment done by a Nigerian and we implore our members to reproduce what they have seen in their various countries,” he added.

In response, the Group Managing Director of Rainoil Limited, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, represented by the Executive Director of the company, Mr. Emmanuel Omuojine, who walked the delegation through the company’s humble beginning, stated that the company started operations in May 1997, and had grown to become a prominent player in the downstream space, providing employment opportunities for over 2,000 Nigerians.

According to Omuojine: “Over the last 25 years, Rainoil has achieved great feats in the downstream sector. From the retail business, where we now have a presence in 26 states with over 150 stations, to being the only player in the downstream sector with bulk storage facilities strategically located in three key locations in the country.

“The company’s operations cut across the downstream value chain including petroleum product storage, haulage/distribution, and retail sales. The company’s primary products he disclosed include petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, LPG and lubricants.”

He reiterated the company’s commitment to providing energy products and services to people in an efficient and sustainable manner while creating value for all stakeholders.

“We also established a Logistics Services company, Rainoil Logistics Services Limited, which drives the delivery of our energy products to our esteemed customers nationwide. We have also deepened LPG penetration with our ultra-modern LPG storage facility and roll-out of LPG plants, skids, and trucks across the country,” he said.

The executive director added that Rainoil has continued its upward trajectory through an intentional investment strategy, innovation, and creating a conducive working environment for its employees, reiterating the company’s commitment to the development of the industry, which is critical to Nigeria’s economic growth.

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