Petrol importation to be reduced to 60%- Kachikwu

The Minister of State for petroleum resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has reiterated the resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reduce the importation of petroleum products into the Country from the present 95% to 60% by 2018.

Kachikwu made that disclose at the 20th-anniversary activities of Rain OIL Company in Lagos, South West Nigeria on Wednesday.

Speaking at the lecture with the theme; ”Nigeria Oil and Gas Sector: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects of the Down Stream Sector’,” the minister said that the proposed establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta Region and more investment in the sector proposed by the government will cut petroleum products importation by 60% in 2018 while the exportation of the product is expected to commence in 2019 through Dangote refinery.

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Kachikwu said, “The nation is at the turning point where the downstream industry is more critical than ever and will drive the economy.

“Currently, the NNPC imports over 95 per cent of petroleum products because of the challenges faced by marketers in accessing Foreign Exchange.

“After 20 years in this industry, I have seen the industry go through challenges but regardless of all that, we are optimistic that there are a lot of opportunities in the sector.

The minister also announced that Nigeria’s refining capacity for the first quarter of the year 2017 stood at 10million barrels and that by the year 2020, the Country would no longer be importing petroleum products.

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The minister was represented by the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Downstream, of NNPC, Mr Henry Ikem-Obih.