Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has reaffirmed his stand that the country will stop fuel importation by 2023.
Recall, the corporation’s helmsman had earlier stated this position while taking over from the immediate past Group Managing Director of the corporation, Maikanti Baru, reassuring that all the nation’s refineries would be fixed by 2023.
Kyari was speaking after signing the condensate refinery strategy programme front-end engineering design. The project is expected to deliver 20 million litres of petrol when completed.
“For a country that has been producing oil for over 50 years, it is really a difficulty to explain why we are still importing petroleum products,” he said.
“We have a clear mandate of the President to stop this, and we believe this can be done between now and 2023; it is not a political deadline, it is a realistic, technical deadline that we can deliver on this.
“First, we will deliver on our refineries to make them work, and significant work has gone into that and we believe that we can deliver on this.”
Kyari added that NNPC would supports its partners to deliver on their projects that will make gasoline and other products available in the country. He said this would come from the many other refinery projects intervention that are going on, which said the corporation is supporting, “particularly the Dangote refinery. We will help them in any way possible to support them to deliver on that”.
“Thirdly, which is where we come in, in the upstream as we all know, we haven’t done well. We are busy exploring for oil-producing wells but we haven’t bothered to say what additional value we can add to this country and that’s where the condensate refinery comes in,” he noted.
This is not the first time Kyari has spoken on ending the importation of petroleum products. At the valedictory service organised for Maikanti Baru, former NNPC GMD, he promised that all the country’s refineries would be fixed before 2023.