The Nigerian government, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Niger Republic for petroleum products importation. The MoU was signed through the ministry of petroleum resources.
Niger Republic, which started commercial oil production in 2011, now exports petroleum products to Nigeria, as the West African country’s refineries remain grounded.
For decades, Nigeria’s three major refineries have been grounded to near-zero capacity utilisation with all of its refined fuel imported from other countries.
According to a statement released by the ministry of petroleum resources, Soraz Refinery in Zinder, Niger Republic, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day compared to the nation’s 5,000bpd domestic requirement.
“This is a major step forward. The Niger Republic has some excess products which need to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relationship for both countries,” Sylva said.
“My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.”
Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria while Alio Toune, director-general of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), signed on behalf of his country.
It is worthy to note that Niger Republic built its refineries in less than three years, pushing utilisation from zero to about 90 per cent in 2019.
Nigeria currently imports refined petroleum products despite having four refineries.