The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, on Thursday, said it would end the importation of refined petroleum products by December 2024 as all the country’s refineries would be operational by then.
It also projected that the national oil firm would grow its revenue to N4.5tn at the end of 2023 adding that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, under NNPCL’s management, would be completed by December this year.
The Group Chief Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, disclosed this when he led officials of the company to a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, where the lawmaker called for the privatisation of Nigeria’s refineries.
Also, oil marketers, on Thursday, confirmed the readiness of the Port Harcourt refinery, as they stated that its operations, which could begin in January 2024, would lead to a considerable drop in the prices of refined petroleum products.
At the meeting in Abuja, Kyari declared that Nigeria was on track to stop the importation of refined petroleum products in 2024 and would emerge as a net exporter of the commodities in the same year.
He also provided explanations on the commencement of operations of the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries
The company’s helmsman said all refineries would become fully operational, adding that the country would become a net exporter of petroleum products by the end of 2024.
He blamed the petroleum subsidy for inactive refineries in Nigeria over the years, stressing that the removal of the subsidy was already attracting a lot of private-sector investments.
Kyari stated, “I can confirm to you that by the end of December this year, we will start the Port Harcourt refinery; early in the first quarter of 2024, we will start the Warri refinery and by the end of 2024, Kaduna refinery will come into operation.
“This is the commitment we are giving today and you can hold us accountable for this. In 2024, many of the initiatives including the rehabilitation of our refineries and also the efforts of small-scale refineries, and the upcoming Dangote refinery, will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products in 2024.
“We will no longer be talking about fuel importation by the end of 2024. I am very optimistic that this will crystallise,” he said.
Kyari pledged that by the end of 2023, the expected government revenue from the company would hit N4.5tn, as NNPCL now returns value to shareholders in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act.
In October 2023, reports had it that Nigeria was spending about N843bn monthly on the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, following the halt in oil swaps by NNPCL.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority stated in July this year that between June 1 and June 28, 2023, which was described as the post-deregulation period, the total petrol consumption across the country was 1.36 billion litres, while the average daily consumption was put at 48.43 million litres.
The average ex-depot price of petrol from the only importer of the commodity, NNPCL, is about N580/litre.
But the NNPCL and oil marketers stated on Thursday that this huge oil import fund would drop soon as the Port Harcourt refinery would start producing refined petroleum products from January 2024 barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Confirming the readiness of the plant, the President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, told one of our correspondents that he visited the facility to get first-hand experience and saw that it was ready.
The Federal Government announced in August this year that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would be completed in December 2023.
When contacted on Thursday to tell the current stage of repairs at the facility, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPCL, Olufemi Soneye, replied, “Scheduled for the end of December 2023, the Port Harcourt refinery project is proceeding as planned without any issues. The delivery date stands. The work is ongoing.”