Nigeria has began importation of petroleum products from neighbouring Niger Republic, which only started commercial oil production in 2011.
Africa largest producer of crude oil, Nigeria, has for decades, been unable to revive its three major refineries which have been grounded to near-zero capacity utilization.
The country presently, imports all of its refined fuel imported from other parts of the world at very huge cost to its citizens.
Data reportedly obtained from the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARA) showed that strong refinery performance in Niger Republic meets local fuel consumption needs, and the excess production is exported to Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso.
According to reports, while Nigeria struggles to get its refineries functioning again to attract foreign investment to the downstream sector of the oil industry, Niger has built a single 20,000-barrel per day refinery with configuration for local market.
Niger’s facility is currently turning out liquefied petroleum gas, 7 per cent; gasoline, 32 per cent; and diesel, 61 per cent, to enable it optimise stranded crude supply.
That country is said to have built its refineries in less than three years, thereby pushing utilisation from zero to about 90 per cent in 2019.