Nigeria’s state-owned oil refineries, which have for years been comatose, will bounce back to life and start production in 2023, the last year of the current government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 promising he will put a stop to importation of petroleum products by Africa’s leading oil producer.
Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the promise to revamp and run the four ailing refineries with the aim of ending fuel importation and crude oil swap with foreign refineries, would be kept. He spoke during the annual African Refiners & Distributors Association conference.
While addressing the virtual panel, the NNPC boss said the country will soon put an end to the oil-for-fuel swaps system after the revamping of the local refineries.
He noted that while the swaps had saved the country roughly $1 billion a year, he doesn’t see an extension of that process in the near future as progress and transition into local production is underway.
The four refineries located in Kaduna, Warri, and Port Harcourt with a combined capacity to process 445,000 barrels per day were shut down in April and efforts are in top gear to revamp and bring them back to life.
NNPC has said it will partner with private companies to upgrade the refineries and then run them as part of a drive to process its own oil and cut reliance on imported fuels.
“Our banking partners are on top of this. It is a schedule we have agreed with our partners and we believe we can deliver on this,” Kyari stated.
According to analysts, the oil-for-swap deals, in operation since 2016, provides virtually all of Nigeria’s gasoline and some of the diesel and jet fuel while NNPC exchanges around 300,000 barrels per day of oil for the imported fuels.