“Nigeria and Niger have excellent relations for several decades, as neighbours sharing a long border with common cultural and historical ties.
“Nigeria sees this cooperation on crude oil export from the Republic of Niger and construction of refinery facilities in Katsina State as a “win – win” for both nations.
“The initiative will not only provide a reliable market for the stranded crude from the Niger Republic but will also provide petroleum products for Nigeria, as it aggressively pursues its aspiration on petroleum product self-sufficiency,” President Buhari said.
He also expressed hope that the current frontier exploration efforts in the Northern part of the country (Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin and Benue trough) would also result in the provision of additional hydrocarbon inflow to the corridors of the proposed pipeline and a potential refinery around Kaduna axis.
“This project will be private sector driven with the full support of the governments of both countries and I am happy to understand that several expressions of interest from prospective investors are already being received,” Buhari also stated.
He announced that a Steering Committee had been set up to be chaired by the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources with the Nigerien Minister of Petroleum as alternate Chairman, to provide strategic leadership, direction and governance oversight for the project.
Buhari added: “It is my expectation that by December 2018, this group will come up with a detailed roadmap and guideline leading to actual execution of the projects.
“The detailed roadmap should cover the following:
a. Bankable feasibility studies for both the Refinery and pipeline projects;
b. Optimal project site, pipeline routes and details;
c. Security plan;
d. Selected consortia of investors for both the refinery and pipeline projects.”