- The Dangote Refinery has missed the proposed production deadline set by Aliko Dangote
- Dangote promised, during the commissioning of the refinery, that production would commence in late July or early August
- However, oil workers have asked the Nigerian government to focus on fixing the nation's refineries
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The Dangote Refinery, commissioned on May 22, 2023, by former President Muhammadu Buhari, is yet to commence production.
The development comes despite promises by the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, that the 650,000-capacity refinery would commence operations by late July or early August.
Dangote reveals production date
In his address, Dangote stated that the first production from the refinery would be in the market before the end of July or the beginning of August 2023.
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However, findings show that the refinery has yet to produce a single drop of refined petroleum despite Dangote's promise.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) spokesman Garba Deem, NNPC would reduce its fuel imports in August immediately after the Dangote Refinery begins production.
Punch reports that a top source among the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) corroborated that NNPC had reduced petrol imports.
NNPC cuts down on petrol imports
Deen revealed to journalists in June that Farouk Ahmed, the chief executive officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDRA), confirmed that NNPC has reduced imports.
In August, the spokesman for the Dangote Group, Tony Chiejine, told Legit.ng that production at the Ibeju-Lekki refinery would commence soon.
He said the company is putting the finishing touches to ensure a hitch-free production.
Chiejine, however, needed to be more specific on the production date.
Punch quotes the president of the Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifor, as saying that the Nigerian government should not focus on the Dangote Refinery.
Instead, Osifor asked the government to expedite action to get the Port Harcourt refinery working by December as promised.
He stated that as a private business, the Dangote Refinery is not bound by government regulations as variables in the international oil market control prices.
Mike Osatuyi, the National Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said there was no need for panic as NNPC currently has enough petrol in stock and is still importing.
MOMAN and IPMAN disagree on petrol prices
The development follows a disagreement between representatives of MOMAN and IPMAN on the effect of local refineries on the prices of petroleum products in Nigeria.
According to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the petrol price can't come down to as low as N200 per litre even if the refineries are working.
Following a recently published report, the association disclosed this, where IPMAN revealed that petrol prices could crash below N200 per litre if the refineries become functional.
The Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of IPMAN, Joseph Obele, advised the Nigerian government to fix the refineries as planned to reduce the price of petroleum products in the country.
Obele disclosed that prices will keep skyrocketing until Nigeria's refineries are functional due to international variables and exchange rate fluctuations.
"But when our refineries are functional, Nigerians will buy fuel less than N200 per litre."
N700/Litre: Fears of petrol price increase looms as crude oil hits $92.79 per barrel
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light rose to $92.79 per barrel over the weekend from $90.88 recorded last Tuesday, September 5, 2023, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members extended output cuts in the market.
Russia continued its voluntary crude oil export drop by 300,000 barrels per day until December 2023, while Saudi Arabia extended its one million daily supply cut to October 2023 to enhance stability.
Vanguard reports that the increase is the highest in 2023, showing an excess of $17.79 per barrel against the 2023 budgeted benchmark price of $75.