Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Nigeria signs £2.9 billion oil refining agreement

Nigeria has signed a preliminary £2.9 billion agreement with US-based Vulcan Petroleum to build six oil refineries in the West African country. The deal could potentially boost the country's refining capacity by 180,000 barrels a day, with two of the refineries due for completion this year.

Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in the region but its refineries are only able to refine a fraction of it into fuel.

Speaking about the new deal Nigeria's Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga said the MoU with Vulcan marked the "beginning of changing our old paradigm of exporting just raw materials and exporting jobs to Western countries.”

Last week, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the boss and several other executives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after an inquiry into the industry found $6.8 billion had been lost due to fraud in the past two years.

The investigation into the fuel sector followed a number of angry protests in January after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy. It reasoned that the subsidy is costing the country billions. The probe found the government guilty of chronic corruption and fraud.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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