Federal government of Nigeria has said the country may stop the importation of petroleum products by the first quarter of 2024.
Gatekeepers News reports Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva said this on Monday at the government’s series titled ‘PMB administration scorecard 2015-2023’.
The series showcases the achievements of Buhari’s administration since he came into power in 2015.
Sylva stated that by the first quarter of 2023, the 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) Port Harcourt refinery would be partly rehabilitated, and ready for production.
The Minister said, “Our promise has been that the 60,000 bpd plant within the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of Q4 2022, it is being completed and is going to be started by Q1 2023 as promised.”
He explained that in addition to several modular refinery projects in the country, the 650,000 (bpd) Dangote refinery is also expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
According to him, the combined production of the Port Harcourt refinery, the Dangote refinery, and the modular refineries, Nigeria would end the importation of petroleum products.
Sylva disclosed that the federal government had intentionally acquired a 20 percent stake in the Dangote refinery to ensure a local supply of production from private refineries.
The Minister said, “We have taken 20 percent equity in Dangote Refinery. We have also taken 20 percent equity in Azike refinery. In Walter Smith refinery, we took 30 percent and in Duport, we’ve taken more than 20 percent. Duport refinery has already concluded construction and it only remains to start operations. I’m sure within the next one month, they would start operations.
“We are hoping Dangote refinery comes on stream this year and once our own rehabilitated refineries start to work, we will be able to get the country wet (with petroleum products).”
He added that the government is currently addressing the crude access challenges faced by modular refineries.
The Minister while speaking on the issue of under-recovery payments, reiterated the federal government’s position that the subsidy system was no longer sustainable.
According to him, the huge amount of money spent on subsidy could be used for other development projects that would have a positive impact on many Nigerians.
Sylva added that the removal of the subsidy would increase investment in the oil sector, as many private investors would be willing to invest in building refineries.
In 2022, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said the federal government would halt the costly petrol subsidy in June 2023.
As such, the country’s initial projection to spend N6.7 trillion as subsidy payments for full the year was trimmed to N3.35 trillion for half a year.
Meanwhile, in August 2021, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of $1.48 billion for the rehabilitation of both the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
According to the Acting Managing Director, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Desmond Inyamah said the Warri refinery will resume operations by December 2023.
In addition, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a South Korean conglomerate to rehabilitate the Kaduna refinery.