President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Saudi Aramco will collaborate in revamping the country’s refineries and other energy investments.
Buhari, who is currently in Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative, met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco; and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in the capital, Riyadh, to discuss areas of cooperation.
The president also directed officials of the petroleum ministry and NNPC to work with the Saudis. The purpose is to “expedite the modalities for investments and collaborations.”
Both countries are OPEC members.
The NNPC operates four refineries that have long run at a fraction of their capacity. The newest is almost four decades old.
Nigeria imports more than 90% of products like gasoline and diesel, swapping its prized export — crude — for petroleum products that people need in their everyday lives.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Russia on Thursday, October 24, in Sochi, Russia, signed an important Memorandum of Understanding, which will enable both countries’ oil giants — NNPC and Lukeoil — to elevate the commercial relationship to a government-to-government backed partnership.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this.
He said with the signing of the MoU, NNPC and Lukeoil would work together in upstream operations and revamp Nigeria’s refineries.
According to him, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari; as well as Vagit Alekperov, President of leading Russian oil company, Lukeoil, signed the MoU, which entails cooperation in the deep offshore exploration of oil in Nigeria, production, trading and refining.
He stated that the signing ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva. It took place on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit.President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria was prepared and willing to work with Russian businesses.
“To improve the efficiency of our oil and gas sector”.
He made this remark, earlier, at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Lenin,
He also observed that the sector “provides us with the much-needed capital to invest in our security, infrastructure and economic diversification programmes”.