By Oge Obi

The Federal Government has disclosed that it would conclude the selection processes and announce the chosen private companies for the repairs, revamp and maintain of the country’s three refineries in the first quarter of 2018.

And that with the joint capacity of 450bd of the three refineries along with Dangote refinery which is expected to come on stream with between 150 to 200bd in the last quarter of 2019, Nigeria will attain self-sufficiency in refined petroleum for domestic consumption.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, hinted that the government would in September 2017 reveal the new investors that will put in private money to revamp the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

“When we came on board, the refineries were not working but as we speak, we have sizeable investment portfolio for them to an extent that we don’t know who to partner with for the investment. By September, we will unveil the investors for the refineries,” the minister said.

However, speaking at the 24th Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa recently, the minister said that government was yet to conclude the selection process, but that it hopes to announce the selected companies by January or February 2018.

“We are almost at the threshold of finalizing the selection. The response of private investors is enormous. As at today, about 26 companies have shown interest to refurbish the refineries

“Presently, we are reasonably close. First, Dangote refinery is moving on very steadily and should be on stream by last quarter of 2019. That is enough to meet local needs. The other three refineries have the capacity of 450 barrels.”

Recall that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on April 19, 2016 issued tender seeking investors to jointly fund the repairs and the operations of the refineries. This step however ran into a hitch when the House of Representatives called for a halt to the process stating that government’s privatisation agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), was not involved.

Thereafter, the problem was said to have been resolved after and was followed with a presidential approval, granting NNPC in October 2016 to engage credible financiers to repair, revamp and maintain the three refineries.

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