The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has officially announced that it will reduce its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as petrol, once the Dangote Refinery starts producing refined petroleum products in late July or early August. Currently, the NNPCL is the sole importer of petrol in Nigeria, as other oil marketers have ceased importing due to difficulties in accessing US dollars at the official exchange rate.
The NNPCL holds a 20% stake in the Dangote Refinery, a state-of-the-art facility capable of processing 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Former President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the refinery on May 22, 2023, describing it as a game-changer. Aliko Dangote, the Founder/Chairman of the Dangote Group, also emphasized that the refinery would eliminate the influx of substandard petroleum products into Nigeria and meet the country’s entire fuel demand.
According to Dangote, the refinery will begin supplying refined products to the Nigerian market starting from late July or early August. When questioned about the NNPCL’s fuel import program once the Dangote Refinery becomes operational, the spokesperson for the national oil firm, Garba-Deen Muhammad, explained that the situation would change.
Muhammad stated that the NNPCL is compelled to import products from abroad out of necessity, not choice. Ideally, the company would prefer to produce and refine domestically, ensuring energy security for the country. However, due to the circumstances surrounding the existing refineries, the NNPCL cannot allow the country to come to a standstill. Therefore, if Dangote’s products are available, there is no reason why the NNPCL should not purchase from them. As co-owners of the refinery, it makes sense for the NNPCL to conduct business with their partners rather than with other entities.
He further emphasized that the NNPCL owns 20% of the refinery and has an agreement with Dangote to supply crude oil. Once the refinery requests crude oil for payment, the NNPCL is prepared to supply it as part of a business transaction. Muhammad highlighted that the NNPCL has been selling crude to various parts of the world for decades, so it is only logical to sell to Dangote’s refinery, just as they sell to other refineries and countries.
Mele Kyari, the CEO of the NNPCL Group, stated that the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Dangote Refinery by the national oil firm would commence once the facility begins operations.
Meanwhile, oil marketers have stated that the cost of the refined petroleum products from the Dangote Refinery cannot be determined until the refinery releases its pricing template. They hope that the refinery will improve the supply situation of petroleum products in Nigeria but stress that the pricing template will determine the cost of the products.
Mohammed Shuaibu, the Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, mentioned that the implementation and pricing template of the refinery would be observed when it starts production before any judgment can be made. The President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, also echoed this sentiment, stating that the pricing template from the refinery would guide operators in determining the cost of the refined petroleum products.