• Government to sell stakes in fuel refining and distribution
  • State oil company being reoganized to prepare it for IPO

Nigeria plans to make its first initial public offering of assets owned by its national oil company in 2018, Petroleum Resources Minister of State Emmanuel Kachikwu said.

“It’s inevitable,” Kachikwu, who also heads the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said on Tuesday in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “Part of the cleaning up process that we’re doing is to prepare for that.”

Africa’s top oil producer plans to sell shares in its refining and distribution business and “select” exploration and production assets to the public, he said.

NNPC, as the state oil company is known, manages Nigeria’s stakes in joint ventures with international oil companies that pump the country’s crude. It also operates refineries and a distribution network of depots and pipelines across the country of about 180 million people.

With reorganization, the NNPC is expected to evolve into four efficient business units from more than a dozen that are mostly making losses, and return to profitability, according to Kachikwu.

A long-delayed bill to reform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry will probably be passed “quickly” by lawmakers after it was split to separate a “very contentious” fiscal aspect from non-fiscal parts, he said.

(Updates with minister’s comment on reform law in last paragraph.)

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