Can FG wrestle self out from fuel import cabal to fix refineries, get new ones?
Whereas the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Lekki during a tour of the Dangote Refinery, Mele Kyari, said the Corporation is in the process of establishing two new 200,000bpd condensate refineries to boost in-country refining capacity, observers have described the remarks as diversionary to cool anger on why nothing is happening to the moribond refineries.
Experts say unlike the conventional refineries, condensate refineries primarily refine condensate, not crude oil. They often produce one product, mostly Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.
Kyari had disclosed that upon completion of the two planned refineries, they would help transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products as the outputs would combine with the 445,000bpd capacity of the existing refineries being refurbished, and the 650,000bpd Dangote refinery.
According to him, these complementary efforts by the NNPC and the Dangote Group would guarantee energy security for Nigeria.
While observing that the national oil company was not in contest with the Dangote refinery for market share; rather it would provide support for the project to boost in-country refining capacity, Kyari averred that “Our objective is to make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products and you can only achieve that by complementing each other, both the public and the private sector..
We are going to do more and we actually need more of these private sector refineries for Nigeria to become a net exporter of gasoline (petrol) and other associated products,” NNPC boss noted.
However, sector analysts are not convinced that the Federal Government has the political will to reposition the refineries which will amount to criplling the illicit businesses of major marketers. There had been unconfirmed reports that major importers adn own petroleum tank farms are behind the delays by government in fixing the refineries over the years.
The question, therefore on the minds of many Nigerians is if Kyari can withstand the forces of the fuel import cabla and deliver not only refurbished refineries, but additional two new ones.