Dr Ibeh Kachikwu, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominee during his screening at the Senate session on Wednesday, October 14, stated that refineries in the country performing below 65% of capacity would be shut down in December.
Dr Ibe Kachikwu undergoing screening speaks on Nigerian refineries
Kachikwu who fielded questions from the senators disclosed that the reality is that functioning refineries were operating at only 25% contrary to reports that they were doing well, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The ministerial nominee explained in his answers that it was not enough for a refinery to produce at 65% today and at zero percent the next day, stressing that anytime crude was not utilised by a refinery, the government lost money.
Kachikwu noted that the situation of recurring scarcity of petroleum products, especially petrol and kerosene, would continue unless the Nigerian refineries performed optimally.
He said: “Performance levels of Nigerian refineries are about 25 and 26%; it is not enough to do 65% one day and do zero percent the next day.
“We have started a policy of not giving crude to any refinery that is not producing.
“Port Harcourt refinery is producing at over 60% and we want to drive it to 75% by December.
“Warri refinery has indicated that it will soon come on stream; we will begin to pump crude to Kaduna refinery by Thursday, October 15 and by the next five days, we will know if they will produce above 65%.
“Any refinery that does not produce up to 60% is not into production, and at the end of December, we will only allow those who perform optimally. Those that do not, we will shut them down.”
Speaking further, Kachikwu said that the importation petroleum products was costing the nation a lot of revenue and that due to these expenses, the importation would be stopped.
However, he stressed that for such to be possible, the refineries have to be functioning optimally adding that they had over 10 years not been properly maintained.
He said: “Kerosene is a different ball game; only NNPC imports kerosene in this country because nobody can import and make money.
“Fifty percent of NNPC subsidies go to kerosene, so our refineries must work so we can get kerosene and gas.
“Importation is something we must quickly get out of so we must ensure that our refineries work; we must build and have a strategic reserve of at least two years.”
the group managing director of the oil corporation said that President Muhamamdu Buhari has stated that he would not be tempted to remove petroleum subsidy until full measures are in place to cushion the effect of such removal.
Meanwhil, Amos Sakaba, a director in the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in line with the 2015 World Bank doing business report has disclosed in Lagos that Nigeria receives an average of six billion dollars in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflow annually.