The Anambra State Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is rounding off arrangements in setting up a parastatal saddled with interfacing with and bringing big oil companies to operate in and develop the state.
The State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Barr Tony Ikechukwu Ifeanya, disclosed this in a press interview in his office at Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Akwa, Tuesday.
The Petroleum Commissioner said the ministry was established to make Anambra a big oil producing state, thereby generating a huge revenue for the state, as well as employment for Anambra youths.
He said, ‘This is a service ministry. Our duty is to liaise with the federal ministries, departments and agencies, and interact with international oil companies such as Shell, to attract Foreign Direct Investment, (FDI).
‘Before the end of this term (Governor Charles Soludo’s first tenure), we will be able to attract one or two foreign companies like Shell.
‘That is why we are almost rounding off Anambra State Petroleum and Energy Resources Limited. It will go out and look for investors that will partner with them to develop Anambra.’
Ifeanya expressed the hope that once the Anambra State Petroleum and Energy Resources Limited and Anambra State Solid Mineral Development and Company Limited for Solid Minerals began operations, they would attract investment, generate employment and create wealth for the state.
He said that Anambra had oil and gas and a sizeable number of solid minerals, such as kaolinite at Ukpor and Ozubulu, sharp sand in Onitsha and Anaku, bentonite at Igbariam, among others, scattered all over Anambra communities.
He added that once the ministry finished putting in place the Anambra Petroleum and Energy Resources Limited, and Anambra Solid Minerals Development and Company Limited, the state would begin to explore the resources in partnership with private investors for bigger benefits and revenues.
Ifeanya expressed satisfaction that in the past one year, the ministry was able to ensure that relative peace existed between host communities and the oil exploration companies in the state.
On fuel subsidy removal, the Petroleum Commissioner said inasmuch as forces of demand and supply had become the major price determinant in the petroleum business now, his ministry monitored the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Petroleum Dealers Association, Anambra State Chapter, to ensure that their members in the state did not tamper with the quality and pump size of the petroleum products.
Saying that Nigeria was not matching up with other oil producing countries such as the United States and Saudi Arabia, with about 129 and 23 working refineries respectively, among others, Ifeanya advised the Federal Government to repair the nation’s four refineries to end the perennial petroleum problem in Nigeria.