Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Oil, Heineken Lokpobiri has said that the federal government will stop fuel importation in February 2024.
Speaking during a working visit to the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Eleme, Rivers State, Lokpobiri stated that Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations before the end of 2023, precisely in December, while Warri refinery which is also undergoing rehabilitation and will start refining petroleum products by February.
The Minister who expressed happiness with the level of work done at the Port Harcourt refinery, said the $1.5bn rehabilitation work will ensure that the facility refines up to 60,000 barrels of crude per day when completed by the end of 2023.
Lokpobiri said the essence of the inspection was to ensure the timely rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery and the completion of other refineries in the country at the scheduled dates.
The Minister said;
“The essence of today’s inspection is to come see the extent of work done at the Port Harcourt Refinery and we are happy with the level of work done here.
“From what we have seen here, we believe the project will be completed as scheduled. The Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board fully by the end of this year, 2023. Warri will start operating by the first quarter of next year and then, Kaduna will come on stream towards the end of next year.
“The Port Harcourt Refinery when completed is expected to produce about 54 to 60 barrels per day, while Warri refinery when it comes on stream by February, 2024 will produce 75 barrels of oil per day. If we add that to Dangote refinery we will be able to stop fuel importation and Nigeria can now have the benefits of full deregulation.
“We will be going round all the refineries in the country, from Port Harcourt, we will go to Warri, to Kaduna. We will also go to the Dangote refinery to see the level of work there.
“Our objective is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation and that is why we are here to see the extent of work done, and we are satisfied with what we are seeing here.
“Nigerians should expect a better supply of fuel and better economy. But I can assure you that Nigeria will have a better deal in this renewed hope Administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“You know gas is very important and we have it in abundance. so the issue of gathering the gas to generate power supply and other areas that would need gas in the country is very important.
“The government is very desperate about it as it will bring in foreign investors to invest in the gas sector.”