The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, says the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will not sell the country’s refineries.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, Kachikwu said the Federal Government aims to make Nigeria Africa’s refinery corridor.
The minister, who spoke on the short and medium term priorities directed towards growing the country’s oil and gas industry, said instead of disposing the refineries, the government will rather bring in private sector investments to fix them.
Nigeria currently has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt, and one each in Kaduna and Warri. But the refineries have not been operational for many years now.
“The President (Muhammadu Buhari) has made it clear that he was not going to sell the refineries, because if we sell them, we are going to be selling them as scraps,” the minister said.
“So the model we came up with is to bring in private sector investment in the repair and management of the refineries and get them up to about 90% of capacity.
“That process is almost completed now, probably in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the winners.
“We want to get the private sector to be major investors in building new refineries.
“There are two or three modular refineries that are ready to come up.
“Agip is working towards final investment decision (FID) on 100,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Bayelsa state, and of course there is the Niger Republic Refinery that we are discussing- also a 100,000 bpd potential.
“The objective is to make Nigeria a refinery corridor in Africa.”
On Monday, Kachikwu said the government’s vision is to have Nigeria refine most of its crude locally rather than exporting them.