The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Niger for the transportation and storage of petroleum products
The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Garba Deen Muhammad who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the MoU was reached following bilateral agreements between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.
Alhaji Mohammed stated that the MoU was signed by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, and the Director General of Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), Mr Alio Toune.
He noted that MOU was signed under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr Foumakoye Gado, respectively, with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, in attendance.
He said talks had been ongoing between the two countries for over four months, through the NNPC and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, SONIDEP on petroleum products transportation and storage.
He explained that Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260 kilometers from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.
According to him, the country’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000 barrels per day(BPD), thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.
Speaking shortly after the MoU signing, Sylva expressed delight over the development, describing it as another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.
Also commenting on the development, APPO Secretary General, Ibrahim, said he would not be happier with what he witnessed in terms of co-operation and collaboration between the two APPO member countries in the area of hydrocarbons.
Also, Mallam Kyari said the two countries have had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.
The NNPC MD further noted that being the most experienced of the two oil companies, the NNPC would support SONIDEP in terms of training and capacity building.