The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, has said the country would stop importing petroleum products by 2023.

Kyari made this known on Tuesday during a press conference at the state house in Abuja.

Speaking at the weekly ministerial briefing hosted by the presidential communications team at the presidential villa, Abuja, Kyari noted that the NNPC was entitled to 20 percent of the Dangote refinery’s output.

He said the Dangote refinery, due to start next year, would increase the output of state refineries to meet Nigerian demand for petroleum products.

“The NNPC owns 20% equity in the Dangote refinery and not only that, and we are very proud of that. Not only do we have 20% equity, we have the first right to refuse to supply crude oil to that factory. But we saw this energy transition challenge coming, we knew that moment will come when you start looking for people who will buy your crude oil that you will not find and that means we have the opportunity to sell crude oil for minimum 330,000 barrels by operation of law for the next 20 years.

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“Also, we have legal access to 20% of that plant’s production. That means whatever it does, you know we have the right to take 20% of that production as part of our equity and this refinery will be put into operation by the middle of next year at the latest.

“Projection is the first quarter, but we think it may come out mid next year at the latest. If so, just because it has a 650,000-per-barrel capacity and other technology, this refinery means it can crack the crude in a way that you can have more gas than a typical refinery.

“That means that the refinery can produce up to 50 million liters of PMS. So the combination of that and our own ability to bring back our refinery will completely eliminate every potential petroleum product in this country next year. You will not see any imports to this country next year. This is very practical. This is possible,” Kyari said.

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“Actually, when we’re done with our refineries and the Dangote refinery, we’re doing a lot of small initiatives; small modular condenser refineries that we are building, if that happens, and we are very optimistic that it will happen, you will see that this country will now be a net exporter, we hope to export petroleum products, not just to the West African sub-region, but to the rest of the world.

“This will happen, and the flow of supply will change. That will change by the middle of next year. So by the middle of next year you don’t need to import petroleum products into this country,” Kyari added.

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