- Following the controversies that followed Dr. Ibe Kachikwu's declaration on fuel scarcity, the NNPC has unveiled the strategies to be used to end the fuel scarcity challenge
- Nigerians have been reassured by the NNPC that the issue would be eliminated within a stipulated time frame
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has revealed strategies to end the fuel scarcity within the next few days following the controversies caused by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s declaration that the current fuel scarcity could last up to two months.
Nigerians were also reassured that this prevalent issue would be eliminated once and for all within the next few days. The corporation also disclosed in a statement by Mr. Garba Deen Muhammed, the NNPC’s group general manager in charge of group public affairs division, that it was working on sustainable strategies to address the challenges facing the downstream and midstream sectors.
READ ALSO: Senate summons Kachikwu over fuel scarcity
“Our commitment to ramp up our local refining capacity and availability remains unwaivered with the ongoing rehabilitation works targeted at running all Refineries at a minimum 70 per cent capacity utilization within the next eight to nine months. This is in addition to our initiative of increasing the combined capacity of the domestic refineries through co-locating smaller but cost efficient modular refineries within the existing refineries premises within a time frame of 12-24 months,” Muhammed said.
He also stated that the predominant objective of the corporation is to make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products as it was in the 1970s. He said the corporation was burdened with the obligation to guarantee almost 100% in the national supply as a result of the challenges faced by major oil marketers. According to him, constraint in accessing foreign exchange and outstanding subsidy obligations has hindered them from contributing their supply quota.
He disclosed that NNPC had secured presidential approval to take additional crude oil volume to guarantee national supply of petrol since the domestic crude oil supply of 445,000 barrels per day could only guarantee about 50 per cent of the 45 million litres national requirement for petrol.
Muhammed said the corporation was working on a joint partnership with technically and financially capable investors to curb storage and logistics challenges. This partnership, according to him, would ensure that petroleum products transportation and storage facilities were proficiently operated on an open-access common-carrier user-tariff basis.
“Some of these depots will be nominated as strategic reserves while we take possession of a strategic reserve vessel in the next three months. Tangible results will be delivered within the next three – six months. Changes usually take time, effort and a lot of focus. We understand the plight of Nigerians and the impact on the overall economy. We genuinely empathize with the attendant sufferings and wish to reassure that we are focused and committed to bring an end to this situation within the next few days and we kindly call on all Nigerians to partner with us on this journey to allowing the whole process of change come into fruition,” he added.
He explained that the current administration was being faced by numerous challenges. It had inherited a huge sack of problems in the downstream sector, incessant vandalism of pipelines, corruption and inefficiencies in the supply and distribution chain. The arrears of subsidy payments to oil marketer was also listed.
According to Muhammed, these issues made most oil majors pull out from the importation business with NNPC assuming almost a 100% importation obligation without the necessary logistics in place.
He, however, stated that NNPC had initiated and made progress on various key solutions in order to provide a lasting end to most of the issues even with the change agenda of this present administration. He also said the issue of the unpaid arrears from subsidy regime had been addressed.
“Thankfully, with the firm support of Mr. President and the National Assembly, we greatly reduced this debt burden and since January 1, 2016 we have been able to eliminate subsidy payments by managing prices at current levels through price modulation. This has resulted to savings of over N100 billion monthly for the nation,” he had said.
To ensure product availability, Muhammed said the nationwide petroleum supply and distribution had been increased to all states. He emphasized that the current supply to states was in excess of the normal consumption especially in the five major consuming cities.
Read more here.