The Federal Government said it will shut down the three refineries and begin turnaround maintenance on them by December 2018.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, revealed this in a 12-minute podcast distributed to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
In the podcast which is one of an 8-part series that addressed the refinery component of the “7 Big Wins”, Kachikwu said before the maintenance begins by December, government was optimistic that by October it would have signed all the requisite agreement with the financiers and contractors.
The minister explained that the model adopted for the refineries’ repair as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari involves third party financiers working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to raise the refineries from 10 to 90 per cent performance capacity.
“That process is almost largely done and we are hoping that by the end of October, we should be in the position to have signed all the requisite agreement and be able to charter people to move in to begin to work.
“If we can by the end of the year get to a point where at least begin the process of actual work-shut down the refineries and begin, then I think we would have achieved the objective of this in terms of beginning to revamp those refineries,” he said
The minister noted that Nigeria is almost concluding a pact with Niger Republic to build a pipeline to Nigeria to utilising Nigerien crude.
“Later in July, the two presidents will be in Nigeria to sign off on the negotiated basis of this relationship,” he said adding that the nice thing about the initiative was that it was a private sector-led initiative as well as government to government.