The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is expected to work with Saudi Aramco to renovate the refineries, a move in line with the President-Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s goal.
The collaboration between NNPC and Saudi Aramco is part of the outcome of President Buhari’s visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. He visited the Arab country to participate in the Future Investment Initiative. Both countries are members of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, had promised that the administration would deliver a revamped refinery by 2019. He vowed to resign if Nigeria does not attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019. His tenure, however, ended with President Buhari’s first term in May 2019 and he was not re-appointed as part of President Buhari’s second term cabinet, as predicted by Nairametrics.
Buhari’s fruitful visit: President Buhari’s visit to Saudi Arabia and agreement with Saudi Aramco might be the first step towards the repair process, as his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the Saudi Aramco discussion involved areas of cooperation. The officials of the petroleum ministry and NNPC were directed by President to work with the Saudis to “expedite the modalities for investments and collaborations,” a report disclosed.
Nigeria’s dormant refineries include the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, and Port Harcourt Refining Company. Nigeria imports 90% of its gasoline and diesel, as the refineries operate below capacity.
Nigeria’s refining ambition: For years, Nigeria, which is the largest crude oil producer in Africa, has been importing most of its refined oil from offshore, but gradually, that will become a thing of the past, as Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is also close to completing his own refinery.
Dangote Group recently announced that the Dangote refinery would be completed by 2021 and start production for Nigerian market, as well as Europe and America. More so, wiith the Federal Government taking steps to revamp Nigeria’s refineries by collaborating with Saudi Aramco, Nigeria’s oil industry can stand on its two feet among global players.