Nigeria is to sink a staggering US$2.68 billion in the construction of three oil refineries in faraway Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reported today.
The newspaper was told by Panggah Susanto, a director of the Ministry of Industry in that country, that Nigeria had been looking for a partner to refine its crude oil, and both countries agreed [for that purpose] to build three refineries in Indonesia.
“Previously they wanted the refineries to be built in Nigeria,” Susanto said of the Nigerian counterparts. “However, as Indonesia is currently improving its downstream industry, Indonesia wanted the refineries to be built here instead.”
Apparently, they got their will. According to the director, “State firm PT Pertamina will buy the crude oil from Nigeria and process it here.”
It is unclear why Nigeria has chosen to refine its crude abroad, and the matter appears to be shrouded in secrecy. The Nigerian people have not been informed of the deal, or about how it will benefit them.
The current Nigeria government is fraught with policy hiccups. Only last month, the Nigerian president, after a meeting with Mr. Jai-Seong Lee, the president and chief executive officer of South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy, announced that the company, the world’s largest shipbuilder, would build a multi-billion shipyard in Bayelsa State that would create thousands of jobs.
The following day, Hyundai Heavy denied any such arrangement.