The Federal Government and the Republic of Niger have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for petroleum products transportation and storage. Both countries have been engaged in deep talks for over four months through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on petroleum products transportation and storage. Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260kilometres from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day. Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.
A release by the Group General Manager/SA Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Garba Muhammad, yesterday in Abuja, noted that the MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr. Alio Toune under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr. Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim in attendance.
Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva expressed delight over the development, describing it as another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries. In his words: “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.”