The Federal government says Nigeria may stop the importation of petroleum products by the first quarter of 2024.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said by the first quarter of 2024 the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would be partly completed while the 650,000 barrel per day capacity Dangote Refinery would also be on stream.
Sylva stated this at the resumption of the “PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)” organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
This is not the first time the minister would be making such projection. In December 2022, the Minister had put the deadline for the importation of fuel products at the third quarter of 2023.
Presenting the scorecard of his ministry, Sylva specifically said the 60,000 bpd capacity refinery within the Port Harcourt Refinery complex would be ready for production by Q1 2023.
The Minister added that the Dangote Refinery, the largest single-train refinery in the world with investment of over 25 billion United States dollars would also be on stream before the end of 2023 in addition to several modular refinery projects in the country.
He assured Nigerians 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 local supply of the productions by the private refineries, the Federal Government deliberately took 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery.
“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 said.
Sylva added that the government is currently addressing the crude access challenges faced by modular refineries.
He said 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 people would be willing to invest in building refineries.