The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to import petroleum products from Niger. The MoU, which was signed on Thursday, through the ministry of petroleum resources, was a breakthrough to the discussion that has been going on for over four months before the MoU was finally signed on Thursday.
Niger Republic’s refinery in Zinder has an installed 20,000 refining capacity per day while Nigeria’s domestic requirement per day is 5,000bpd. This leaves about 15,000bpd surplus per day which can then be exported.
The MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP) Mr. Alio Toune -representing Nigeria and Niger respectively- in the presence of Minister of State for Petroleum for the two countries.
The Nigerian Minster of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, while expressing his delight for the new development stated that, “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. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relationship for both countries. My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.”
Mallam Mele Kyari stated that the two countries have had long engagements for four to five months with the hope of restoring exportation of petroleum products from Niger to 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.” He said.
Nigeria has four refineries which are not in good condition. Due to this, the country has continued to import petroleum products from other countries despite being an oil producing state.207