Timipre Sylva: Fuel Importation To End By 2024

Timipre Sylva

THE Federal Government forecasted on Monday that by the first quarter of 2024, Nigeria will no longer import petroleum products.

Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, stated that the Port-Harcourt refinery will be partially completed by the first quarter of 2024, while the Dangote Refinery with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bod) will also be operational.

This was stated by Sylva at the resumption of the “PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023),” which was organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while presenting his ministry’s scorecard, Sylva stated specifically that the 60,000 bpd capacity refinery within the Port-Harcourt Refinery complex will be ready for production by the first quarter of 2024.

The Minister added that the Dangote Refinery, the largest single-train refinery in the world with an investment of over $25 billion, will also be on stream before the end of 2023 in addition to several modular refineries projects in the country.

He, therefore, assured that with the combined production of the Port-Harcourt refinery, Dangote refinery and modular refineries, Nigeria will end the importation of petroleum products into the country.

The minister disclosed that to ensure local supply of the productions by the private refineries, the Federal Government deliberately took 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery.

The minister also said the Federal Government took a 30 per cent equity stake in each of the 5000bpd Walter Smith modular refineries in Ibigwe, Imo state and 10,000 BPD Duport Modular Refinery in Edo state among others.

He said that the government is currently addressing the challenge of access to crude oil being faced by the modular refineries.

The minister also reiterated the position of the Federal Government that the subsidy regime is no longer sustainable

According to him, the huge fund being spent on subsidies could be deployed to other developmental projects that would impact positively many Nigerians.

He added that the removal of subsidy will attract more investment into the petroleum sector as many private people will be willing to invest in building refineries.

Meanwhile, Sylva also declared that he will be okay as a private citizen to buy a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol at N300 per litre.

The minister affirmed that the cost of petrol in Nigeria is still low compared to what obtains in other countries of the world, adding that the product is already selling in parts of Nigeria at prices ranging from N179 to over N400 per litre depending on the location.

Sylva had been asked whether he would be comfortable buying at N300 per litre if he becomes a private citizen just like most Nigerians who are presently bear- ing the high cost.

He said “If you ask me how I will feel as a private citizen to buy petroleum products at N300 per litre, frankly, if you ask me, I will say I won’t feel bad knowing the actual situation.

“If you compare Nigeria to other countries you would also understand; you also convert N300 that you are talking to other currencies, then, you would probably understand

You know a lot of you travel to the United Kingdom, a lot of you travel to the US. How much do you buy petroleum products? Even in Saudi Arabia and in Arab communities that produce crude oil, convert it to what we are buying in Nigeria in terms of Naira, you will find out that we are not really doing too badly.

“But unfortunately, we are still in a subsidised regime which all of us know and we have come to a national consensus now that this subsidy is not sustainable. But we will get there. together, we will get there.

“Because many times, you’re the first people to ask how we are able to sustain this, and then, when we want to take out the subsidy, the same people will protest.

“Sometimes, we don’t understand what the average person wants. But what is desirable as far as we are concerned is to ensure that petroleum price is market-driven. That way, it will also drive a lot of investments.

“A lot of private sector investments will like to invest in this sector but under a subsidised regime, who is going to invest?

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