By Ambrose Okehi
It was meant to be a thing of joy and celebration for Nigerians in a cremony for the signing agreement between Niger and Nigeria. But u fortunately, many Nigerians are not comfortable with the development as they regret that despite having four refineries the country, Nigeria still depends on fuel importation from other countries.
The signing agreement between Niger Republic and Nigeria was a tually done deal between the Governments both countries as they formerly signed agreement on importation of petroleum products into their country from Niger.
The Nigerian government, through the ministry of petroleum resources signed the m
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Niger Republic for the importation of petroleum products.
The signing agreement, most Nigerians were not at home with it. A development, they said belittles Nigeria as an oil giant descending to import the same products it supposed to export to other countries.
Meanwhile, in a statement released by the ministry of petroleum resources as sighted by News Emperor, Soraz Refinery in Zinder, Niger Republic, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day compared to the nation’s 5,000bpd domestic requirement. This leaves a surplus of 15,000 barrels per day.
Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was said to have signed on behalf of Nigeria while Alio Toune, the Director-General of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on the other hand signed for his country, Niger Republic.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the ministers of state for petroleum of the two countries, Timipre Sylva of Nigeria and Foumakoye Gado of Niger Republic.
According to the statement, “This is a major step forward. The Niger Republic has some excess products which need to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products.
News Emperor gathered that the deal will bring about a win-win relationship for both countries,”
It was said to also help to solidify the already existing trade relationship between the two neighboring African countries.
The Nigerian Minister of state, Sylva said: “My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.”
While making his remarks at the ceremony, the NNPC boss, Mele Kyari said, “Nigeria and Niger Republic have had long existing engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.
“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to have a pipeline from the Soraz Refinery in Zinder (Niger) into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot.
“We are happy that we have reached that conclusion and our two ministers have endorsed this framework. We are also working on a detailed MoU between our two companies so that we can continue the execution process immediately.”
Nigeria currently imports refined petroleum products despite having four refineries.