The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd Mele Kele Kyari, says there is no single refinery working in the country at the moment.
Kyari disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on Tuesday in Abuja. He told the committee investigating the rising prices of diesel and cooking gas that the country’s refineries were not working at the moment, as the situation remains regrettable. He, however, said the NNPC was doing everything possible to bring them back to life.
According to him, the refineries will not come back tomorrow, there is a process going on. “We have decided to do a quick fix for Warri refinery.” He said that no one could guarantee the stability of petroleum supply, with excess volume in the reserves of consumers and producers of the product.
“The world has never seen this kind of uncertainty. Today , countries are stockpiling products. Shortly before COVID-19, the world was already facing shortfall of 3 million barrel of supply of oil,” he said.
Kyari said that there had been no effort to manage the energy crisis across the world, stressing that to guarantee energy security means “you just make product available at anytime and at any cost.”
The GMD also disclosed that over 200 illegal refineries were being operated across the country, stressing that the solution was to restore crude oil production, with the massive intervention ongoing and by the end of July “we will restore production to a level that is reasonable.
“Many European countries are asking for gas rationing they are asking people to alternate their air conditioners. “Today, countries are toying with subsidy because prices are so high because they don’t think they can manage inflation associated with it.”
Speaking at the event, Mr Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum, said the current geopolitical crisis in Ukraine and Russia had resulted in the increase of petroleum product prices.
He added that this was because Russia as one of the major producer, is in war thereby affecting petroleum products across the world and Nigeria was not an exemption. He said that the landing cost of petroleum product was also a factor that is raising the cost which is not limited to Nigeria.
“We need to see what can be done to alleviate the suffering of the people. If our refineries come back on stream and make foreign exchange available at the official rate of N400 per dollar, things will definitely improve. We also need to address the issue of vandalism,” he said.