Sani Wilson Enemona
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, has disclosed that it was set to resume the importation of petroleum products from neighbouring Niger Republic.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources revealed this in a statement, noting that the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday for petroleum products transportation and storage.
Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.
“Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export,” it said.
The ministry disclosed that the MoU was signed by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director-General of SONIDEP, Mr Alio Toune, under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, Dr Omar Ibrahim, in attendance.
“This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries,” Sylva said.
Kyari said the two countries had had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.
“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to having a pipeline from the Soraz Refinery in Zinder (Niger) into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot.” Kyari mentioned.