Nigeria needs new refineries and the investors would be announced next month, Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources said on Monday.

Kachikwu said he wants Nigeria to have a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for the production and processing of hydrocarbons, and for the storage of oil in 10 years.

Nigeria’s refining system means it is almost wholly reliant on imports for the 40 million litres per day of gasoline it consumes.

This has caused repeated fuel scarcity of petroleum products in Africa’s largest economy.

In fact, the country has battled fuel shortage since December 2017.

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On Sunday, Nigeria’s lower chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives asked the executive to raise a supplementary budget of 800 million naira to enable it to offset some debts it owed fuel marketers.

This, the House said it believed could help end fuel scarcity as it had become obvious that importation of fuel solely by NNPC cannot end the shortage.

Recall that NNPC launched a bidding process in 2016 to find partners to overhaul Nigeria's sick four refineries that produce very little petrol because of decades of mismanagement.

The three existing refineries could add a total capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) if refurbished. But the project requires investment of $2 billion, a sum the government said it does not have.

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“We are pushing towards the final selection of our financiers and we expect that, when that is done, we’ll get the agreements and present them to our board, meeting this month, to secure their endorsement,” NNPC’s head, Maikanti Baru, said in the statement from the company last month.

“Once we have the funding, we would start the rehabilitation of the refineries towards a 90% capacity utilisation ... before the end of 2019.”

No details of any potential financiers were however provided.

But the government had previously said it was in talks with Chevron, Total and ENI, but Baru had said in the statement that NNPC was still open to new refineries and that two investor groups have expressed an interest in building facilities.

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