The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said there is no going back on a December 2019 deadline set to stop importation of petroleum products into the country.
Nigeria had remained one of the largest oil producers that import refined crude to meet about 50 million estimated daily consumption. Estimated under recovery from premium motor spirit or petrol alone stood at over N1.4 trillion as of last month.
If the plan by the corporation is anything to take serious, existing state owned refineries would be overhauled to perform at 90 per cent capacity utilisation before the 2019 deadline.
Group Managing Director of the corporation, Maikanti Baru, who was special guest of honour at the Offshore Technology Conference 2018 Nigeria Oil Industry Award Dinner in Houston, Texas, United States, said thw dream of transforming Nigeria from a net exporter of crude oil to a net exporter of petroleum products would in the months ahead become a reality.
He stated that tendering exercises for companies interested in the rehabilitation programmes of the nation’s four refineries using a contractor-financing model had been completed and successful companies for the different projects would soon be announced.
“This model is expected to be a self-sustaining financial model with near zero reliance on the federal government funds. For smooth running and implementation, we are also changing the operating and commercial framework of the refineries to make them work efficiently and be commercially viable,’’ he said.
Baru also stated that the corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources were also collaborating to encourage the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta area to encourage job creation. He announced that, so far, about 35 expressions of interest for the establishment of modular refineries had been declared and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had issued licenses to 13 of them.