The Federal Government (FG) has reiterated that the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Ltd will be operational again by December.
This is part of the government’s pledge to eliminate petroleum product imports as soon as efforts to rebuild the nation’s domestic refining capability are redoubled.
Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), said this, according to a Friday statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
He cited the Minister as saying this during an inspection trip of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Ltd. plant in Port Harcourt on Friday.
“Our objective in coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation. From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year.
“Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year.
“If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation,” the Minister assured.
He also expressed satisfaction with the ongoing restoration work at the Port Harcourt refinery, stating that once all of the refineries are operational, Nigerians will have a greater supply of petroleum products and foreign exchange will be domesticated, resulting in an enhanced economy.
During Friday’s visit, Mr. Mele Kyari, Group CEO of NNPC Ltd., stated that restoring the refineries to their optimal levels is a national goal that the Company is committed to achieving.
“We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses. We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity.
“We are hopeful that in 2024, this country will be a net exporter of petroleum products,” Kyari stated.
“We are here to go into the field,” remarked Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas). Subsidies were popular a few years ago. Subsidies do not exist today.
“People today are in a desperate condition to breathe a sigh of relief and figure out how to live. You are all aware that gasoline is critical to our economy. “All hands must be on deck to ensure the refineries are operational,” he said.