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Despite Nigeria being Africaâs leading exporter of crude oil, a lack of investments in the countryâs refineries have left Africaâs most populous nation with chronic gasoline shortages.
Now Nigeria is considering an arrangement to import gasoline from neighboring Niger.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been speaking to President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic at the opening of bilateral talks between delegations of the two nations at the State House in the capital Abuja, The Daily Trust reported.
Issoufou told Jonathan that he wanted agreements signed under the auspices of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission, which include electricity, water supply for agriculture, information, desert encroachment and joint border patrol, to be implemented, adding that Niger would begin exporting crude oil by the end of the year and that Nigeriaâs northern states could begin getting their supply of petroleum products from a refinery under construction in Zinder, Niger.
The Zinder refinery, being constructed by the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), has a projected capacity of 1 million tons/annum, or 20,000 barrels per day, and is expected to come online next year at a projected cost of $600 million.
Addressing a common concern of the two countries, food security, Jonathan told Issoufou that Nigeria had plenty of natural gas and was going to establish plants to produce fertilizer, inviting Niger to liaise with relevant officials to ensure that appropriate fertilizer was produced for his nation.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com