“Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year. If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of de-regulation”
President Bola Tinubu administration has restated its commitment to put an end to petroleum products importation soon just as it redoubles efforts to restore the nation’s local refining capacity.
Specifically, it said the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery will be completed by December this year.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, made the promise during an inspection tour of the ongoing rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Ltd. plant, in Port Harcourt, on Friday in a statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPCL.
“Considering the level of progress recorded in the PHRC rehabilitation project, the plant will come back on stream by December this year,” Persecondnews quotes the minister as saying.
Lokpobiri was accompanied on the tour by the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel T. Aduda, and the Group CEO, NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari.
He said: “Our objective in coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation. From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year.
“Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year.
“If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation.”
The Minister also expressed satisfaction with the ongoing rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt refinery, saying “once all the refineries are back on stream, Nigerians will enjoy a better supply of petroleum products, and foreign exchange will be domesticated, leading to an improved economy.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Group CEO, NNPC Ltd., Kyari, said bringing back the refineries to their optimal levels is a national aspiration, adding the company remains focused on delivering the refineries on schedule.
“We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses. We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity.
“We are hopeful that in 2024, this country will be a net exporter of petroleum products,” Kyari said.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo said: “We are here to go into the field. Yesterday was the era of subsidies. Today, we don’t have subsidies.
“Today, people are in a desperate situation to heave a sigh of relief; and see how to live. You all know that petrol is very vital to our economy. All hands must be on deck to ensure that the refineries are working.”
During the visit, the two ministers also participated in the Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee meeting and also held a meeting with the refinery’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractors.