Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer wants to end its need for imported petroleum products within 18 months, the country’s petroleum minister Emmanuel Kachikwu has said.
“Quite frankly if you are going to be in this business downstream you’ve got to start wondering about where you are going to get your products from which means you’ve got to invest in the refineries or you’ve got to invest in reserves,” the petroleum minister said.
Africa’s largest economy produces about 2 million barrels of crude daily, but the country’s four oil refineries have never reached full production due to sabotage and poor maintenance.
This has forced the country to rely on pricey imports for the bulk of its energy needs.
The news comes at a time when the economic giant plans to restructure its state petroleum company.
A slump in global oil prices has triggered the worst economic crisis in the country, as crude exports account for about 95% of foreign earnings.
Kachikwu added that the west African nation plans to invest up to 500 million dollars in the country’s oil refineries, to keep them in optimal shape.