FG shifts fuel importation deadline to 2024


THE Federal government on Monday projected that Nigeria would be ending the importation of petroleum products by the first quarter of 2024.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made the projection based on the expected completion of the rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt refinery, and completion of the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity Dangote Refinery.

Sylva disclosed this at an event on ‘President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)’ organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

The ICIR findings showed this would not be the first time the minister would be making this kind of projection. In December 2022, he put the deadline for the importation of fuel products at the third quarter of 2023.

Before then, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibeh Kachikwu, had in February 2017 put a deadline to the fuel importation for 2019, banking on the turn-around maintenance of Nigeria’s redundant refineries.

Sylva, presenting the scorecard of the ministry, said the 60,000 bpd capacity refinery within the Port-Harcourt Refinery complex would be ready for production by the first quarter of 2024.

He added that the Dangote refinery, the largest single-train refinery in the world with investment of over $25 billion, would also be on stream before the end of 2023, in addition to several modular refineries projects in the country.

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He, therefore, assured that with the combined production of the Port-Harcourt refinery, Dangote refinery and the modular refineries, Nigeria would end importation of petroleum products into the country.

The minister disclosed that to ensure seamless local production of petroleum products, the federal government deliberately took a 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery.

The minister also revealed that the federal government also took a 30 per cent equity stake in each of the 5000 bpd WalterSmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State and the 10,000 bpd Duport modular refinery in Edo State, among others.

Sylva said that the government was addressing the challenge of access to crude oil being faced by the modular refineries.

The minister also reiterated the position of the federal government that subsidy regine was no longer sustainable.

According to him, the huge fund being spent on subsidy could be deployed to other developmental projects that would impact positively on many Nigerians.

He added that the removal of subsidy would attract more investment into the petroleum sector as many private sector players would be willing to invest in building refineries.


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