The Federal government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Niger Republic for the importation of petroleum products importation.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources released to a statement announcing that Soraz Refinery in Zinder, Niger Republic, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day compared to the nation’s 5,000bpd domestic requirement, thereby leaving a surplus of 15,000 barrels per day.
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria while Alio Toune, director-general of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), signed on behalf of Niger Republic.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the ministers of state for petroleum of the two countries, Timipre Sylva for Nigeria and Foumakoye Gado for Niger Republic respectively.
Sylva said, “This is a major step forward. The Niger Republic has some excess products which need to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relationship for both countries.”
“My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.”
Kyari also remarked that Nigeria and Niger have had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.
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“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to have a pipeline from the Soraz Refinery in Zinder (Niger) into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot.
“We are happy that we have reached that conclusion and our two ministers have endorsed this framework. We are also working on a detailed MoU between our two companies so that we can continue the execution process immediately.”
Despite having four refineries, Nigeria still currently imports refined petroleum products. Consequently, in order to ensure that there is no scarcity in the country, scarce forex is spent.
It is hoped by government officials that the 350,000 capacity Dangote refinery being constructed will bring an end to the era of petroleum products importation in Nigeria.
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