Nigeria to stop importing petroleum products by Q1 2024 – FG

Our reporter/ The federal government on Monday said Nigeria may stop the importation of petroleum products by the first quarter of 2024.

Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, who made the disclosure at the government’s series titled ‘PMB administration scorecard 2015-2023’, said by the first quarter of 2023, the 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) Port Harcourt refinery would be partly rehabilitated, and ready for production.

“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 said.

He further stated 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.

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Sylva said with the combined production of the Port Harcourt refinery, Dangote refinery, and the modular refineries, Nigeria would end the importation of petroleum products.

According to him, the federal government had intentionally acquired a 20 percent stake in Dangote refinery to ensure local supply of production from private refineries.

“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,” he said.

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“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).”

The minister added that the government is currently addressing the crude access challenges faced by modular refineries.

Also speaking on the issue of under-recovery payments, Sylva 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.

He added that the removal of subsidy would increase investment in the oil sector, as many private investors would be willing to invest in building refineries.

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