The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has confirmed that once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products, it will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit.
Information Nigeria reports that NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years.
Other oil marketers quit importing petrol due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.
NNPCL also owns 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery – a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil processing refinery which was inaugurated May 22, 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a game-changer.
Founder/Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who said the facility would put an end to the inflow of toxic substandard petroleum products into Nigeria, added that the refinery would meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s fuel needs.
According to Dangote, the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or early August this year.
The NNPCL when contacted on what would happen to the company’s fuel imports programme once the Dangote Refinery began to push out products in August, the national oil firm’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said ‘this would change.’
Muhammad said, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.
“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?
“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”
The spokesman explained that the NNPCL would be supplying crude oil to the Dangote Refinery based on business agreement between both parties, and that this would be in accordance with the international price of crude.
“NNPC owns 20 per cent of that asset and we have an agreement with Dangote that we will supply the refinery with crude. So as soon as Dangote begins to request for crude to pay for it, NNPC is prepared to supply the crude as a business transaction.
“We have been selling crude to different parts of the world for decades, and it is not whether we will sell it to Dangote, for why won’t we sell to Dangote when we are selling to other refineries and countries?”
NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, recently stated that the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the national oil firm to the Dangote Refinery would start once the facility commenced operations.