Nigeria restates commitment to export petroleum by 2019

Titilayo Ipinjolu, Abuja

Nigeria remains committed to transiting from being a massive importer of Petroleum products to a net exporter by end of 2019

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr.  Ibe kachikwu who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja said to achieve this, the country must speed up the process to increase its refining capacity.

He however clarified that the government did not concession nor depose any of the country’s refineries for any business purpose.’

‘Adverts were merely placed in some national and international newspapers in April last year seeking financiers to fund,  rehabilitate, and jointly operate the refineries to increase their capacity utilisation, nowhere In those adverts was it stated that there would be a transfer if any of those assets to any eventual financiers’ he explained.

Dr kachikwu posited that revamping the existing refineries would save the country huge foreign exchange and money spent on fuel imports.

He said even though there were challenges to achieving this, they are surmountable if the refineries initiatives, Big Win 4 of the 7 Big Win initiatives were properly and speedily implemented.

According to the minister if the refineries are refurbished, Nigeria will be able to transit from massive importation of Petroleum products to a net exporter by end of 2019.

Additional benefits he said include opening up investment opportunities in the media downstream sector. Stability of Petroleum product supply and prices nationwide, a growth in gross domestic products and job creation.

He therefore called on all stakeholders to combine efforts to speed up the process needed to revamp and restore the existing refineries to its maximum capacity.

Nnenna.O