The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said that he will not feel bad to buy petroleum at N300 per litre
The minister made the revelation on Monday in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists during the 16th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard (2015 – 2023).
He said: “You asked if we can achieve N40 per litre? I will say ‘yes’ but this is dependent on if we are able to also achieve, within this period, improvement in exchange rate.
“If we can achieve one dollar to one naira exchange rate within this time, we would also be able to improve on the pricing because these things are dependent on other factors; the exchange rate is also a factor. That’s just in the lighter mood but seriously speaking, I commend the agencies under the ministry for the hard work…the management of the supply situation, under this subsidy regime is not easy.
According to the minister said some modular refineries had been completed but still faced with the challenge of crude oil supply.
He reiterated that the rehabilitation of 60,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt refinery had been completed, adding that the refinery would commence production by the first quarter of this year.
“We have taken 20 per cent equity in Dangote refinery. We have also taken 20 per cent equity in Azike refinery, in Walter Smith refinery, we took 30 per cent and in Dupaul, we’ve taken more than 20 per cent. Dupaul refinery has already concluded construction and it only remains to start operations. I’m sure within the next one month, they would start operations.
“We are hoping Dangote refinery comes on stream this year and once our own rehabilitated refineries start to work, we will be able to get the country wet (with petroleum products).
“These are contractual issues. They need to have fixed stock guarantee…These are commercial considerations between the owner of the modular refinery and the supplier of crude oil. As a ministry, we intervene to ensure that they are able to iron out the issues between the two parties.
“With Dangote, there’s already an agreement and we don’t have any problem. Some of these modular refineries have to get the crude from assets that are near them and they have these contracts with private sector owners of these assets; which we are intervening, to resolve.
Corroborating the minister’s assurance, the Groups Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, stated: “The total rehabilitation of the refinery would take 42 months from the date of the award of the contract…the promise is to start off work on the 60, 000 barrels per day component of this activity. By the last quarter of 2022, it was not practical.
“We will start it by the first quarter of 2023, definitely. Otherwise, every other process is going on,” to which the minister added: “In other words, what he’s said is that the rehabilitation of the 60, 000 barrels per day refinery has been completed and it would start in quarter one of 2023; as promised.”