Nigeria’s Refineries Grounded Increases Dependence On Importation To 100%
The four refineries in Nigeria have been grounded to zero per cent, shooting the country’s dependence on importation from 40 million litres per day fuel consumption to 100 per cent. Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that this is worsening the fuel scarcity rocking the country.
The nation’s refineries’ combined output completely grounded to zero as the PortHarcourt refinery, which held forth for the four refining assets, also shut down. The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who confirmed this, added that the Port Harcourt refinery had been shut down currently, bringing the combined output from 1.9 per cent in the last few weeks to zero.
NNPC had stated in its latest monthly report for September that: “Only Port Harcourt refinery produced 31,008 million metric tonnes of petroleum products out of 35,648 MT (261,371.14 barrels) of crude processed at an average capacity utilisation of 5.77 per cent.”
Kachikwu, who described the poor refining capacity as worrisome, that there were machineries in place to restore the lost glory of the refineries and ensure that they contribute massively to the national fuel consumption. “The situation of the refineries is worsening and this is a serious contributor to the ongoing shortage of fuel across the country,” a source at the Port Harcourt refinery added.
Meanwhile, Kachikwu said that the corporation would need about $500 million to fix the refineries and he was determined to source for the fund in the next seven months to one year. “Some people are sabotaging the efforts through pipeline vandalism, but we will block all the leakages and fix the problem,” he assured.
Decrying the fuel scarcity scenerio, Kachikwu said that the corporation was speeding up the payment of the subsidy claims, adding that plans were also in the pipeline to review the subsidy system and bring down the amount of subsidy from about N20 per litre to about N5 per litre.
According to him, “products distribution is key to NNPC, and we have therefore sent out about 5000 trucks to various locations across the country in the last two days.” Kachikwu, however, restated his commitment to turn around the NNPC to a world-class com pany within the next six to 12 months and ensure that it works efficiently in a transparent and accountable manner.
“We are out for transparency. We will be engaging the Presidency of weekly basis, the governors monthly, and the National Assembly on monthly basis, while we continue to publish our reports monthly,” he said. The NNPC boss, who agreed that these were very serious trying times for the industry, said the problems actually more serious, so Nigerians need to work hard and begin to add value.
He said that the president was deeply worried about the prevailing situation in the industry and gave him the mandate to fix the problems, “and I will never do things that will compromise my integrity,” he stated. Kachikwu said his administration had recovered $420 million from the legacy crude swap contract, increases gas supply to power plants to about 231 million standard cubic feet per day (mbpd) and planned to hit 240 mbpd next year.
“In 12 weeks at the NNPC, I have enhanced commercial value, increased productivity, increase profitability and improved governance at the cor-poration,” he stated. On the much-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Kachikwu said that the bill could not be passed in its current form, rather he would move to deal with the fiscal issues and move forward while other areas are sorted out.
He warned the briefcase businessmen to be carefully, while the joint venture partners should come with clean hands in terms of project costing. “Within 12 to 24 months, we want to build a competitive and stable investment regime that balances the needs of the nation and private investors.”