Fuel Scarcity: Daily Fuel Production Will Increase To 10 Million Liters In 2016 – Kachikwu
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has assured Nigerians that the long queues experienced in filing stations across the country would disappear within the next couple of weeks following an expectant daily production of 10 million liters of fuel from Kaduna, Warri and Port-Harcourt refineries. He said by first quarter of 2016, these major refineries will commence full capacity production.
The minister stated this shortly after the inspection of the facilities at the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) on Sunday. He added that some of the factors responsible for the queues in filling stations are not in anybody’s control; as such, one thing that should be noted is that, NNPC is not setup to be a hundred percent importer for the country.
He said, “We are a last intervention force; that is what we are, and this business should be run by marketers who make money out of it – bringing their products, selling their stations. It is not the business of NNPC, really, to be providing them hundred percent capacity but because there was over one year delay in payment of subsidy.
“Because of the excess challenges that marketers have had, NNPC has to wrap up on the forty percent to about eighty percent capacity right now. And with that comes also the responsibility in terms of distribution, in terms of clearing and other related issues.
“And bad pipelines are not exactly helping matters so it has been huge amount of work we have to do in the last nine weeks just keeping people on the roads. I personally never had window of three hours to sleep over that period. Now we have been able to clear some of them but there is still a lot more work to be done.”
The Minister further explained that Kaduna refinery is already producing about 1.5 million liters daily, while Port-Harcourt will commence production of about 4-5 million liters by next week, while Warri is expected to start early next year with about 3-4 million liters of daily production; adding that, even after they began full capacity production, the country will still continue to import fuel until individuals who can co-relocate new refineries within the premises of the existing ones come up to further expand the capacity.
“And that is the only way we are going to be committed to it. We are looking for investors who have the capacity, the speed and the time to be able to accomplish on that.
“But until we do that, we are going to be doing a mixture. Best case situation is a twenty-five to forty percent of local production and the rest being imported; worst case situation is what we have seen in the last few months of hundred percent importations,” he said.
Kachikwu said the country’s refineries are not obsolete as being speculated in some quarters but that the government is working out ways to make it more viable to welcome investors in the nearest future.
“Nigerian refineries are not up to 40 years, while in the United States of America there are oil refineries that are 60 years old and still functioning,” he noted.
On speculations that the federal government had reduced the official pump price of petrol to N85 per liter, the Minister urged Nigerians to be patient till the New Year to get policy statement on the new official pump price, but that the pump price still remain as it were – N87 per liter.