Fix Nigeria’s unending refinery repairs now, Union tells FG

The country still relies on refined petroleum imports

Temitope Joseph | Tuesday, 09 January 2018 11:46am | business

The BusinessPost

Despite Federal Government’s ideas, resolution and strategic plans in bringing and repairing the country’s three refineries (Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna) to a 100% efficiency level, it has remained a challenge to accomplish till date.

Steaming from grave exploitation perpetrated through massive oil subsidy theft, lack of guarantee and past prodigal governments which regaled in profligacy, the refineries have consistently operated below their fixed capacities (a combined 445,000bpd) even with regular Turn around Maintenance exercises.

It has therefore become imperative that the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency fix the refineries at this moment to end subsidy payments, and the re-curing fuel scarcity as experienced in the country two weeks ago.

Urged by the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Worker, NUPENG late Monday, the union revealed that it has been ridiculous that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the past 15years has been spending billions of dollars on TAM of refineries with nothing to show for it.

Tayo Aboyeji, the South West Chairman of the Union, who made this disclosure in an interview with NAN, also lamented that it is disheartening to know that despite the country being a major producer of crude oil; it still cannot refine petrol products for its local consumption.

On this, he further urged the Federal Government to increase product supply to depot in order to reduce the scarcity crisis nationwide, also stressing that it is not right at the moment for total deregulation of the sector.

He also advised that the Federal Government should as well reduce import duty and provide waiver to oil companies for easy importation of products.

2018: Crunch time approaches

However, still plagued by frequent starts and stops, the refineries since Q4 2017 till now still remains fairly unprofitable and much inefficient in their operations and going by current developments, the refineries might end up becoming scraps as two major projects from private investors are in the pipeline.

The Aliko Dangote 650,000bpd refinery construction in Lekki and the new entrant Petrolex, in partnership with South Korea’s Hyundai 200,000bpd refinery in Ogun state.

From all indications, the effects of these developments will certainly make the Federal Government lose its market share to private sector refineries and the completion of the refineries/petrochemical complexes will likewise take full advantages of crude & natural gas production as well as gasoline which are in high demand, and also take advantage of value added petrochemicals Polypropylene & Polyethylene