Apparently miffed by the controversy generated by the declaration of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that the current petrol shortages could last up to two months, NNPC has unveiled new strategies to end the lingering fuel scarcity within the next few days.
The NNPC leadership is now assuring Nigerians that they are on top of the situation.
The commission says it’s committed to eliminating issue once and for all within the next few days.
NNPC’s Group General Manager in charge of Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammed, said in a statement on Monday night that in the medium term, the corporation was working on sustainable strategies to permanently address the issues and challenges facing the midstream and downstream sectors.
According to him, the overarching objective is to make Nigeria a net exporter of Petroleum products as was the case in the 1970s.
“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 utilisation 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 noted that 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, NNPC had secured presidential approval to take additional crude oil volume to guarantee national supply of petrol.
To curb storage and logistics challenges, he said the corporation was working on a joint partnership with technically and financially capable investors to ensure that petroleum products transportation and storage facilities were efficiently 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 3 months. 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.”