The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has declared that Nigeria will stop the importation of refined petroleum products by 2019.
He made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at a public hearing on the review of petroleum pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol organised by the House of Representatives.
According to him, the Federal Government revived refineries that were non-functional to contribute about eight million litres of the over 20 million litres of petrol consumed in the country daily, within two years.
Kachikwu explained that the government initiated a model which attracted foreign investors to partner with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to repair the country’s refineries within the period.
“This has consistently served as a target for this government so that by 2018 December, NNPC must be able to deliver on some of the terms given them, one of which is to reduce petroleum importation by 60 per cent.
“By 2019 we should be able to exit completely the importation of petroleum products in this country.
“Cognisant of the fact that Dangote is building one refinery, we expect to have an excess situation then,” he said.
The minister said that Nigeria must also have the capacity to stop exporting crude oil.
He said that selling crude as crude is not different from selling agricultural produce in an unprocessed manner.
“The world is leaving that, every member of OPEC is leaving that because of the pricing, volume and market challenges now shifting from selling crude to selling refined petroleum products.
“That is what this country must do and there is a template we are working on.”
He further said that the ministry intended to create an enabling environment that will promote local refining of crude oil.
“The issue is not giving licenses to illegality, the issue is, how do we ensure that we create an investment environment that pulls individuals from illegal creek activities to legal business activities?
“We are looking at modular refineries, about 60 licenses were given out just before this government came in and none of that was utilized because it requires a lot of money, land and crude security.
“But now we are going out to identify refineries, get individuals who can build to location refineries on the same platforms where our refineries are and identify some key specific modular refineries backed up by foreign investments working with state governments.