The Nigerian federal government has on Friday, December 13, 2019, set a 2023 deadline to stop the importation of petrol into the country.
Nigeria, an oil-producing country has been heavily dependent on the importation of petroleum products since its four major oil refineries have been under-utilized.
According to the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, while signing the Condensate refinery strategy programme Front End Engineering Design, the strategy is expected to deliver 20 million litres of Petrol when it’s completed.
Kyari explained that President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned that as an oil-producing country, Nigeria is one of the highest importers of petrol in the world.
“For a country that has been producing oil for over 50 years, it is really a difficulty to explain why we are still importing petroleum products.
“We have a clear mandate of Mr. President to stop this and we believe this can be done between now and 2023; it is not a political deadline, it is a realistic, technical deadline that we can deliver on this.”
He listed strategies the corporation hopes to implement to achieve the deadline, including delivering on functional refineries, support to partners on projects that will make gasoline available in the country.
“First, we will deliver on our refineries to make them work and significant work has gone into that and we believe that we can deliver on this.
“Secondly, we will support our partners to deliver on their projects that will make gasoline and other products available which is essentially the many other refinery projects intervention that are going on that we know and we support all of them, particularly the Dangote refinery, we will help them in any way possible to support them to deliver on that.
“Thirdly, which is where we come in, in the upstream as we all know, we haven’t done well, we are busy exploring for oil-producing wells but we haven’t bothered to say what additional value we can add to this country and that’s where the condensate refinery comes in.
In 2017, the Federal Government planned to stop the importation of fuel by 2019 with the approval of a new National Oil Policy by the Federal Executive Council.