Outrage as Nigeria signs MoU to import fuel from Niger Republic

Public outcry has trailed the Nigerian government’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Niger Republic counterpart for the importation of petroleum products (fuel) from the Sahel country.

A statement issued Nigeria’s the Ministry, of Petroleum Resources, Soraz Refinery, Zinder, revealed that Niger Republic has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) domestic requirement, which leaves a surplus of 15,000 barrels per day.

Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria, while Director General of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDED), Alio Toune, signed on behalf of Niger Republic.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the ministers of state for petroleum of both countries- Chief Timipre Sylva of Nigeria and Foumakoye Gado of Niger Republic.

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“This is a major step forward, Niger Republic has some excess products, which need to be evacuated and Nigeria has the market for the products, therefore, this will be a win-win relationship for both countries.

My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria,” the minister said.

Commenting on the development, Kyari said the two countries have had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products from Niger Republic into Nigeria.

“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to have a pipeline from Soraz Refinery in Zinder, Niger Republic to the nearest Nigerian city, so that we can develop a depot.

“We are happy that we have reached that conclusion and our two ministers have endured this framework.  We are also working on a detailed MoU between the two companies, so that we can continue the execution process immediately,” he said.

Nigeria currently imports refined petroleum products despite having four refineries in the country, which have largely remained comatose for several years. As a result, huge foreign exchange is spent to ensure that there is no scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

Government officials have expressed hope that the 350,000 capacity Dangote refinery, which is near completion, will end the importation of petroleum products into the country.

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