APC Backs Buhari’s Move to Import Crude Oil from Niger

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday expressed the support of the party for the ongoing bilateral discussions between Nigeria and the Republic of Niger for the piping of crude oil from the Republic of Niger for refining at the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC).

Oyegun said such a decision by the federal government would make great economic sense as it would ensure that the refinery in Kaduna functions properly in the face of disruptions in supply from the oil facilities in the South.

The national chairman made the statement yesterday during a courtesy visit by the Niger’s Minister of Petroleum, Foumakoye Gado and the country’s Ambassador, Mansour Maman Hadj Daddo at the APC national secretariat in Abuja.

A statement issued by APC’s Media Unit, quoted Oyegun as describing the initiative as a major economic advantage, while urging the federal government to expedite action on project to ensure that it comes to fruition as soon as possible.

“It is already bearing fruit with the proposal for Republic of Niger to supply crude to the Kaduna refinery. For us it will make great economic sense for the refinery in Kaduna to function properly.
“Moreso, in the face of disruptions we have in the southern parts of our country. It is a major economic advantage for that project to be expedited and come to fruition as soon as possible. At the Party level, we assure you that everything will be done to ensure that those who are involved expedite the discussion and agreement so that the plan can be made operational as soon as possible,” he said.

The Nigerien petroleum minister, who doubles as the scribe of the country’s ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya), had expressed the hope that the cordial relationship between the two countries could be replicated at the party level.

Gado said: “We are here to strengthen the relationship between the two countries specifically the political parties of both countries. We acknowledge the cordial relationship between the President of Republic of Niger and Nigeria hence the need for us to come to the Party to strengthen the relationship. We believe that the cordial executive relationship between the two countries should be replicated at Party level.

“It is line with this understanding that the two leaders (Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerien President, Mahamadou Issoufou) agreed to channel crude oil from Republic of Niger to the Kaduna refinery for refining. We have had discussion with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, to facilitate the plan, he said.
“The project is unprecedented because in Africa we are used to exporting crude oil instead of refining it within the continent. This is the first time two countries are coming together for this sort of bilateral crude-refining arrangement,” he said.