ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE MoU SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE CRUDE OIL EXPORT FROM THE REPUBLIC OF NIGER AND CONSTRUCTION OF REFINERY FACILITIES, IN ABUJA.
Photos by Sunday Aghaeze.
24TH JULY, 2018
Let me begin by welcoming you and your delegation to Abuja on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria and to also thank you for considering Nigeria as a partner on this mutually beneficial strategic initiative.
2. Nigeria and Niger have excellent relations for several decades, as neighbours sharing a long border with common cultural and historical ties.
3. Nigeria sees this cooperation on crude oil export from the Republic of Niger and construction of refinery facilities in Katsina State as a “win – win” for both nations.
4. The initiative will not only provide a reliable market for the stranded crude from the Niger Republic but will also provide petroleum products for Nigeria, as it aggressively pursues its aspiration on petroleum product self-sufficiency.
5. In addition, it is my hope that the current frontier exploration efforts in the Northern part of the country (Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin and Benue trough) will also result in the provision of additional hydrocarbon inflow to the corridors of the proposed pipeline and a potential refinery around Kaduna axis.
6. I am happy that several productive engagements held between the Nigerian and Nigerien authorities have resulted in the positive agreements to progress with activities on this important project.
7. This project will be private sector driven with the full support of the governments of both countries and I am happy to understand that several expressions of interest from prospective investors are already being received.
8. In this regard, a Steering Committee has been set up to be chaired by the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the alternate chairman is the Nigerien Minister of Petroleum, to provide strategic leadership, direction and governance oversight for the project.
9. Further to this, a Senior level Joint Technical Team is carefully selected based on competence to develop the implementation roadmap and strategy on both the refinery and pipeline projects. This team will be led by Nigeria’s Engineer Rabiu Suleiman supported by the DG Hydrocarbon of Niger Republic.
10. Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my expectation that by December 2018, this group will come up with a detailed roadmap and guideline leading to actual execution of the projects.
11. The detailed roadmap should cover the following:a. Bankable feasibility studies for both the Refinery and pipeline projects;b. Optimal project site, pipeline routes and details;c. Security plan;d. Selected consortia of investors for both the refinery and pipeline projects.
12. Finally, Let me assure you that Nigeria is committed to pursuing this partnership with vigour and determination.I thank you all for your attention