November 18, 2016
Dangote's Refinery May Render Nigeria's Refineries Useless
According to him, if the country fails to take urgent steps to revamp the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, the facilities may be worthless in three years’ time after the Dangote refinery must have come on stream.
Kachikwu, who spoke at a stakeholders’ consultative forum on the draft National Gas Policy and National Oil Policy in Abuja on Thursday, stressed that Nigeria had no other option than to ensure that its refineries work in the shortest possible time.
The minister said, “Refineries will have to work. It is really not an option anymore. And not only should they work, they have to work very quickly. The reality is that if we do not privatise and we do not concede them, which is not what we are doing now, then we have a responsibility to find private capital to get them to where they should be.
“This is because if we do not get them to work, in 2019, I can assure you that if the Dangote system works well, we will have scrap, we won’t have refineries, because by then it will be too late to do anything.”
Kachikwu urged stakeholders to work in bringing down the cost of production to a reasonable and manageable level, noting that crude oil was still being produced at $27 per barrel in Nigeria.
This production cost, according to him, is high as no decent country will produce at that amount at a period when the oil price is unpredictable.
“We are going to try to get those figures below $18 per barrel,” he said.