The federal government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Niger for the transportation and storage of petroleum products
A statement signed by the Group General Manager/Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Garba Deen Muhammad, said the MoU was reached following bilateral agreements between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.
Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria while Alio Toune, Director-General of Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole, signed on behalf of his country.
He noted that MOU was signed under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and Foumakoye Gado, respectively, with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Omar 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, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP) – on petroleum products transportation and storage.
He explained that Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260 kilometres 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.
“This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries. My hope is that, this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria,” he added.