FG to Legalise ‘Illegal’ Petrol Product Sales between Nigeria, Niger, Says Minister
Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, has said that the federal government wanted to legalise the thriving illegal petroleum products sale already going on between the country and neighboring Niger Republic.
He explained that the two agreements between Nigeria and Niger Republic for the importation of petrol from the later country would boost trade between the two countries.
The minister said, “You know that Niger is a smaller country and Nigeria is more experienced in oil exploration than most countries in Africa. You find out that most of these countries have these constraints.
“Although, we have this agreement with Niger but they have constraint on how to deliver on it to this country because of the contract they have with the Chinese.
“So, if we realise that they have constraints we can change. The whole idea is that Niger has 20,000 bpd which is even bigger than their consumption.
“There is already illegal trading going on between Nigeria and Niger. So, what we want to do is to see how we can legalise it.
“We want to begin to create business with our neighbours. This is what ECOWAS and AU are trying to encourage…”
Sylva also said the process of awarding marginal oil field licences had been completed, adding that the 161 bid winners had been notified and that 50 per cent of them had paid the signature bonuses.
He explained, “The process has been completed and there were 161 winning bids and they have been notified and we have started receiving signature bonuses paid by the winners.
“At least, from the last account report I got from DPR, almost 50 per cent of the winners have paid. What we are expecting from the whole process is about $600 million and of course we have also given allowance for people to pay in naira so you have to pick which currency to pay in – in naira or dollars.
“So, at this point we cannot give any figure in any currency (referring to how much is paid so far) but just to tell you that payments have been encouraging and they have up to April 20 to pay.”
Share your thoughts on the story with Nigerian Sketch in the comments section below.