The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has insisted that there is no going back on the December 2019 deadline set to stop importation of petroleum products into the country.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Maikanti Baru, stated this at the Offshore Technology Conference 2018 Nigeria Oil Industry Award Dinner in Houston, Texas, United States where he was a special guest of honour.
According to him, the dream of transforming Nigeria from a net exporter of crude oil to a net exporter of petroleum products would in the months ahead become a reality.
Nigeria had remained one of the largest oil producers that import refined crude to meet about 50 million estimated daily consumption. Estimated under recovery from premium motor spirit or petrol alone stood at over N1.4 trillion as of last month.
But Baru stated that tendering exercises for companies interested in the rehabilitation programmes of the nation’s four refineries using a contractor-financing model had been completed and successful companies for the different projects would soon be announced.
“This model is expected to be a self-sustaining financial model with near zero reliance on the federal government funds. For smooth running and implementation, we are also changing the operating and commercial framework of the refineries to make them work efficiently and be commercially viable,’’ he said.
If the plan by the NNPC is anything to take serious, it means existing state owned refineries would be overhauled to perform at 90 per cent capacity utilisation before the 2019 deadline.