The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has reiterated Federal Government’s resolve to reduce importation of petroleum products from the present 95% to 60% by 2018.

The Minister stated in the Rain Oil 20th Anniversary Lecture organised by the company in Lagos on Wednesday.

Kachikwu said that with the proposed construction of Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta and more investments in the sector, the importation of products would be reduced to 60% by 2018.

According to the minister, the country would start exporting refined products with the commencement of Dangote Refinery in 2019.

“Currently, the NNPC imports over 95 per cent of petroleum products owing to challenges being faced by marketers in accessing Foreign Exchange.

He noted that having passed through the industry for 20 years, he is optimistic that things will change for the betterment of the country’s economy.

“Going by our plans presently in the industry, our importation of petroleum products will be down to 60 per cent next year and 0 per cent import by 2020.

“It is achievable as Federal Government has shown a strong will to revamping the refineries coupled with the plan to bring about 20,000 barrels per day from modular refinery set to come on stream,” he said.

 Kachikwu said the country's refining capacity for the first quarter of this year presently peaked at 10 million barrels of crude oil.