Despite a nationwide condemnation of rehabilitating Nigeria’s moribund refineries at an outrageous cost, the Federal Executive Council has gone ahead to approve contracts for the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna refineries at the cost of $1.4 billion.

The breakdown shows that $897 million is earmarked for the Warri refinery and $586 million for the one in Kaduna, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday.

According to Mr Sylva, the rehabilitation of the refineries will be carried out in three phases.

The FEC also approved the $2.76 billion acquisition of 20 percent minority stake by the NNPC in Dangote Petroleum and Petrochemical Refinery.

Fixing the refineries

Nigeria has four refineries – including the two in Port Harcourt – but all have struggled to function optimally as the country continues to import petroleum products. The rehabilitation is expected to turn around the refineries and set them up to meet national oil demands.

In June, the Managing Director of NNPC, the national oil company, Mr Mele Kyari, said the rehabilitation of the refineries, in conjunction with private efforts such as the Dangote Refinery, will transform Nigeria into a “hub of petroleum products and supply”.

“It’s going to change the dynamics of petroleum supply globally in the sense that the flow is coming from Europe today and it is going to be reversed to some other directions,” he said. We will be the supplier for West Africa legitimately and also many other parts of the world.”

The success of the rehabilitation will also have a positive impact on the street-level price of petroleum products such as petrol.

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