The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipriye Sylva, on Monday said the rehabilitation of the 60000bpd (Barrels Per Day) Port Harcourt Refinery would be completed by first quarter (Q1)of 2023 and the facility would commence operations.
He stated this during President Muhammadu Buhari administration scorecard 2015-2023 organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture, adding that petroleum price should be market driven as subsidizing petroleum products is no longer sustainable.
Sylva disclosed that the importers of petroleum products are mandated to sell at a loss under the subsidy arrangements.
“The management of the supply situation under this subsidy regime is not easy. We must all agree, so much money is being burnt on our cars. But somehow we have to seek funds in order to keep the country wet. Sometimes, if you really think deeply, you begin to wonder what magic they are doing to even be able to keep this country wet, considering that you buy something, let’s say for N10 and you are to sell it at a loss. And then you are expected to go back and buy the same thing and come back and sell at a loss. So that every point in time you are looking for more money to continue to buy it because you are mandated to sell it at a loss. If you are a businessman, look at it from that perspective that you are in a business where you are mandated to sell at a loss to the population,” he explained.
He maintained that Nigeria is not doing too badly in terms of petrol pump price when compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia, United States and the United kingdom.
According to him, the Buhari administration, through strategic planning, was able to provide support and partnerships to increase oil production and enhance local refining.
He pointed out that a timely review and approvals of requests related to the refurbishment of local refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, combined capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refining capacity enabled so far in Imo, Bayelsa and Edo States.
The government, he said, also launched a $500 million NC R&D Fund and Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre in support of enhanced oil recovery while partnering with the private sector.
Sylva disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2022, commissioned 5000bpd Waltersmith Modular refinery which now produces Automotive Gas oil AGO, Dual Purpose Kerosene DKP and High Pour Fuel Oil HPFO, adding that the phase 2 of the project will add another 15000pd.