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No evidence that Nigeria's president has ordered all local oil refineries be fully operational within six months

IN SHORT: President Bola Tinubu has made some bold calls since he was sworn in on 29 May 2023. But ordering ailing oil refineries into operation is not one of them.

At his inauguration, Nigeria’s president Bola Tinubu announced the removal of the country’s controversial fuel subsidy. 

This more than doubled the price of petrol from N195 to between N488 and N557 per litre.

Despite being a major oil exporter, Nigeria imports nearly all its fuel due to a lack of refining capacity

post shared on Facebook in Nigeria on 6 June 2023 claims that the president has ordered all local refineries in Nigeria to be fully operational in six months. 

Nigeria has five refineries. The four owned by the federal government are managed by the state firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The fifth is controlled by the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, an oil and gas investment company.

The same claim appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here and here

Did the president say all local refineries in Nigeria must be operational within six months? We checked.


One refinery to be rehabilitated in 2023

We found no reports of this from any credible local news organisation.

The president's statement about reviving all five refineries in six months would have been widely reported if it were true, given the budgetary implications.

NNPC boss Mele Kyari said the Tinubu administration has plans to rehabilitate one of the refineries before the end of 2023. 

Kyari said in a television interview on 1 June that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery was underway and would be completed before the end of the year.

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