By Udeme Akpan & Prince Okafor
NIGERIA and Niger Republic have concluded plans to establish a new oil refinery to meet the petroleum products needs of the two nations.
The multi-million dollar plant will be located in the border town between Republic of Niger and Katsina State, Nigeria.
In a statement sent to Vanguard, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria said: “Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, met with President of Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and Energy Minister of the Republic of Niger, Mr. Foumakoye Gado.
“A mutually beneficial agreement was reached for the construction of a refinery in the border town between the Republic of Niger and Katsina State, Nigeria and a crude oil pipeline from the Republic of Niger to the new refinery. Definitive bilateral and technical agreements to be signed in coming days.”
The statement quoted Kachikwu as adding that: ‘’In line with the commitment to collaboratively work across the region to ensure definitive solutions to sector challenges, I thank the President of Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou and my Energy counterpart, Foumakoye Gado, for acceding to this mutually beneficial agreement.”
A source in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who preferred not be named because he was not permitted to speak, said in a telephone interview that details of the planned refinery had not be concluded.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has adopted the $11billion Dangote refinery, under the policy in order to add value to crude oil, reduce high dependence on imported petroleum products and conserve foreign exchange for other developmental projects.
Meanwhile, in the new policy made available to Vanguard, the government indicated that: “Despite having large energy resources, Nigeria has become energy insecure exhibiting multiple dependencies on crude oil exports; product imports; and hydrocarbon based electric power industry. The oil world has now changed fundamentally and the old policy is no longer relevant to Nigeria’s future.
‘’Oil price has crashed and is forecast by the Petroleum Policy Team to remain at a median $45/bbl real for the foreseeable future. Production around the world remains high, combined with large inventories in storage and even in tankers around the world. The reality is that the world is awash with oil.
“There are forecasts that the world is now starting to enter a post- oil period. Oil demand growth is expected to be slower in the future than it has been in the past, and within the next twenty years, demand for oil may show absolute declines.
‘’The future for oil producers lies in value added refining and petrochemicals. The intention of this Petroleum Policy is to move Nigeria away from crude oil exports into value added activities in oil, namely refining and petrochemical industries; expanding from oil into gas based industrialisation.”