Earlier this month, the Nigerian authorities reportedly accepted $ 1.5 billion in funding to restore the Port Harcourt refinery, which closed two years in the past. In fact, the information elicited unfavourable reactions from Nigerians. Their feeling might stem from some extent of distrust that the mission might be a conduit for corruption. Or possibly mismanagement would find yourself killing the mission, taking Milton Friedman “For those who give the federal authorities duty for the Sahara desert, in 5 years there can be a scarcity of sand” quote in perspective.

Nonetheless, skepticism and sentiment apart, the economics of funding a $ 1.5 billion refinery restore may be debated.


Nigeria, the enormous of Africa and the biggest oil producer in Africa, at the moment has 5 refineries within the nation; 4 of that are owned by the Nigerian authorities by way of the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company (NNPC), whereas the fifth is owned and operated by Niger Delta Petroleum Assets (NDPR).

The 4 Nigerian government-owned refineries have a mixed capability of 445,000 barrels per day: one in Kaduna and three within the Niger Delta area at Warri and Port Harcourt. The bone of competition at Port Harcourt refinery has the capability to refine roughly 210,000 barrels per day.

The audited 2019 outcomes replicate that Nigerian refineries made losses of $ 439.47 million. In April 2020, they have been all closed pending rehabilitation.

Is restore funding vital?

Nigeria’s affair with the refineries is synonymous with a passenger who has been ready ages on the bus cease and all 5 buses seem on the similar time. This occurs to be the case because the Nigerian authorities has determined to fund a refinery amid the arrival of the Dangote refinery which is predicted to begin later within the yr / early 2022 and the BUA refinery which is predicted to be operational in 2024. Each refineries have refining capability. 650,000 and 200,000, which begs the query of why the nation is funding a refinery that NNPC chief Mele Kyari stated can be run by personal firms as soon as rehabilitated.

“FG ought to halt the $ 1.5 billion approval for the restore of the Port Harcourt refinery and submit this brazen and expensive enterprise to an knowledgeable nationwide debate. Many specialists favor that this refinery be offered “as is” by BPE to core buyers with the confirmed capability to restore it with their very own funds ”. tweeted Atedo Peterside, Founding father of Stanbic IBTC Financial institution.

The sincere fact, because the tautology says, is that Nigeria has labored onerous with poorly maintained refineries for years. Mele Kyari just isn’t the primary NNPC chief to try to reorganize, privatize or broaden our refineries. Nonetheless, you’ll say {that a} nation with such powers of oil manufacturing ought to at the least have a functioning refinery able to working at optimum capability. Over time the nation has been uncovered to saboteurs who’ve allegedly introduced soiled gasoline from Europe and subsequently having a refinery can be in our greatest curiosity.

Nonetheless, timing and prioritization is a priority. The three-phase, 44-month restore mission will likely be funded from sources such because the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum (NNPC), Internally Generated Income (IGR), price range provisions and Afreximbank.

The Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva additionally declared that the nation will perform rehabilitation works on the Kaduna and Warri refineries no later than Could 2023. “This may also be financed by authorities coffers.

Which begs the query, why? The nation can have an issue of Overcapacity. We’ve the Dangote refinery, (650 b / d), the BUA refinery (200 b / d) and different business refineries (+/- 200 b / d) along with the proposed rehabilitated public refineries (440 b / d) ) on board. Nigeria might presumably have the capability to refine round 1.5 million bpd. With the extent of consumption and demand for refined merchandise in Nigeria ranging between 450,000 and 500,000 b / d in line with the Petroleum Product Value Regulatory Company (PPPRA), the nation that after imported refined petroleum merchandise can have the irony overcapacity.

A lot ado for an unprofitable enterprise. Globally, refining margins are very low. World consulting agency, Mckinsey describes how the profitability of a refinery comes from “the distinction in worth between the crude oil it transforms and the petroleum merchandise it produces.” Most refiners margin comes from the upper worth “mild merchandise” (ie. gasoline, diesel, and jet gasoline) that he does.

Most of those “mild merchandise” will face their chapter days when local weather change insurance policies start to take impact.

To additional substantiate the the explanation why refining firms must be averted by the NNPC. Saudi Aramco has simply printed its 2020 outcomes and regardless of the optimum revenues and income achieved, the corporate misplaced for the second consecutive yr cash on its downstream division (refining and chemical compounds).

There was extra 600 in operation refineries around the globe in the beginning of 2017. Final yr, after falling oil costs, Alan Gelder, head of downstream oil at Wooden Mackenzie, complained about his firm’s world composite refining gross margin, which averaged between $ 0.20 / bbl in Could and June of final yr. The $ 0.20 per barrel is a deviation from their 2020 common forecast of $ 1.40 / barrel. He additional added that a number of refineries are in severe risk of closure in Europe alone over the following three years.


Given the shortage of funds dealing with the federal government, spending of $ 1.5 billion for a refinery is predicted to stay on the again burner. The allocation can be greatest served for different vital infrastructure that would supply earnings or deal with financial issues. Long run refinery shares will struggle local weather change insurance policies and declining demand / costs for oil because the market cycles. The practice from Lagos to Ibadan is a superb mission that the federal authorities has performed. Comparable tasks like this might increase citizen morale and the economic system quite than the recurrent, capital-intensive spending in direction of the tip of the get together’s refinery mission.

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