The House of Representatives has passed a motion, urging the executive to stop the operations of all refineries in Nigeria due to the huge debts being incurred despite the fact that they are barely functioning.
The motion was passed on Wednesday.
It pointed out that the inability of the refineries to serve local consumption is responsible for the country’s dependence on imported refined products and resultant fuel scarcity across the country.
The House has also called for the issue of privatization of the refineries to be revisited and urgently considered.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu had in October stated that the four refineries are not performing optimally because the refineries are battling with obsolete equipments which makes it impossible to take crude oil for refining into finished products.
Kachikwu said the Corporation is working hard to improve pipelines security, restructure its corporate centres, provide transparent and accountable operations, improve efficiency among its workforce. He added that the state-run oil firm was also taking other measures to stop leakages/wastages in the system.
“We are looking at the LPG market to promote growth. As it is, the country is depending on kerosene for consumption. But we are seeing the need to grow the LPG sub-sector of the oil and gas industry because it is cleaner, friendlier and cheaper. Besides, the LPG sector would create jobs for the economy.” he added.
Similarly, the Spokesman for NNPC Ohi Alegbe had in June disclosed that only the two refineries in Port Harcout would begin operations after turnaround maintenance, followed by those in Warri and Kaduna, but was quick to alert Nigerians over the fact that all the four refineries even at full capacity, cannot meet up with our demand on daily basis.
“Even when the refineries work at full capacity, they can only produce around 19 million litres of petrol per day,” he said.
“There will still be a shortfall of about 21 million litres,” he said, pointing out that Nigeria consumes about 40 million litres of petrol per day.
Nigeria, one of Africa’s top two oil producers, is forced to import most of its petrol products due to its ailing refinery system, which generally runs well below capacity, sometimes at just 20 percent, due to neglect and pipeline sabotage.
Major cities in Nigeria are recovering from a gasoline shortage despite the end of a fuel distribution strike as fuel marketers, who are still not importing due to money owed them, have agreed to distribute fuel brought in by the state oil company, NNPC.
Alegbe said the turnaround maintenance for the four refineries had been ongoing since November.
The country has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt, one in Kaduna and another in Warri, but have been non-functional for some time forcing the country to import petroleum products.