By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Sept. 24, 2022
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has assured Nigerians that rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would soon be completed and that the plant would refine 60,000 barrels of crude by early 2023.
Sylva gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen in New York at the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The minister spoke after the official launch of the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report (INFF), the event organised by the Nigerian Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Union.
He said the MoU signed on the modular refineries would help the growth of refining capacity, saying “our target as a nation is not necessarily to become self-sufficient in the refining of petroleum products but to become a net exporter.
“We are expecting that by the end of this year 60,000 barrels capacity per day refinery in Port Harcourt will be functional and we are also expecting first quarter of next year Dangote refinery that will also be functional.
“So, we are trying to add to that and of course you know that there is work going on in Warri Refinery and in Lasuna Refinery.
“So, we also want to have other refineries that will complement these refineries because in the end, we are not talking about self-sufficiency but a net exporter of petroleum as a country,’’ the minister said.
On the launch of INFF, Sylva said it was a great event for the stakeholders in the oil and gas industry sector in Nigeria.
“This is the first outing after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and we want to signal to the world that we are ready for investors.
“This has given us the opportunity to engage those who are very interested on the sidelines of the UN and we were quite happy as a government to take advantage of this opportunity,’’ he said.
The minister said the SDGs frameworks were integral part of the national development and growth and “that’s why we should mainstream it at the end of every year.
“We should be able to measure how each ministry has contributed to the achievement of the SDGs.
“That is really what development is about, if we are not able to achieve the SDGs as a nation, then it will impact the general growth of our nation.
“So, right now, what we have been trying to do is to ensure that the SDGs are mainstreamed. So, really, whatever is happening in the government, will be geared towards advancing the achievement of the SDGs,’’ he said.
Sylva argued that if the SDGs were mainstreamed in the national goals, whatever is happening in the government will have a direct impact on the achievement of the SDGs.
“The SDGs should be mainstreamed so that total apparatus of government is geared towards achieving the SDGs instead of taking the SDGs as a sideline thing to be looked at by some of the agencies,’’ he said.