Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has expressed optimism that fuel importation in Nigeria will end by 2024, and reaffirmed the kick-start of the Port Harcourt refinery in December 2023.
The GCEO reaffirmed this in a conversation with Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Thursday, November 23.
According to Kyari, the rehabilitation of the state-run refineries is ongoing, and by December 2024 Nigeria will stop petrol imports.
He said, “I can confirm to you that by the end of December this year, we will start the Port Harcourt refinery; early in the first quarter of 2024, we will start the Warri refinery and by the end of 2024, the Kaduna refinery will come into operation.
“This is the commitment we are giving today, and you can hold us accountable for this. In 2024, many of the initiatives including the rehabilitation of our refineries and also the efforts of small-scale refineries, and the upcoming Dangote refinery, will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products in 2024.
“We will no longer be talking about fuel importation by the end of 2024. I am very optimistic that this will crystallize.
Speaking further the GCEO said that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, NNPC Ltd’s profitability margins have significantly risen, growing from a loss position of N803billion in 2018 to a profit position of N674billion in 2021.
Kyari noted that NNPC Ltd. is targeting a profit increase of N2trillion when the 2022 Audited Financial Statements (AFS) are released, adding that since July this year, the Company has started paying dividends to its shareholders.
While lauding the National Assembly for the critical role it played in the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, Kyari said that this legislative endeavor had given birth to a new commercially oriented National Oil Company (NOC) that is governed by the Company & Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
He informed the House that the Company has made robust plans for the supply of petroleum products especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, sufficient to last beyond the ‘ember months and the new year festivities.
“By the creation of the National Assembly, NNPC Ltd. is saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing Nigeria’s energy security which is critical to national security. We have made a robust plan for the forthcoming end-of-the-year festivities and beyond. We do not see any shortages in the petroleum products supply for the period,” the GCEO added.
Rt. Hon. Tajudeen, in his remark, described NNPC Ltd. as a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s economy and said that all arms of government must support the Company to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
“When we discuss the Nigerian economy, we must talk about the NNPC Ltd. as a dominant force. We are delighted that the ongoing reforms at NNPC Ltd. have started yielding fruit. It is pleasing to hear that you have moved from a loss-making entity to a profit-making one. We urge you to sustain these reforms,” the Speaker stated.
The Speaker, who congratulated President Bola Tinubu for the bold decision to remove subsidy on petroleum products said the singular decision has relieved the country of a major problem that has bogged it down over the years.
He called on the NNPC Ltd. management to devise more practicable ways of revamping the nation’s refineries to turn around their fortunes for the better.
He described crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism as a huge problem, adding that the situation, if left unchecked, could bring the nation’s economy to a halt.
The Speaker therefore assured that the House of Representative would support the NNPC Ltd. in its fight against the menace.