As part of the ongoing efforts of the present government to sanitize and transform the oil and gas sector, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru has revealed the corporation has perfected the plan to stop the age-long importation Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to the country.
This was made known through statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu.
The GMD was represented by the Chief Operating Officer; Gas & Power of the NNPC Engr. Saidu Mohammed, at the recent Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States.
He disclosed to journalists that at present all the nation’s three refineries were producing petroleum products.
“We load out at least 5 to 6 million litres of PMS daily and about that same quantity of AGO daily from the three refineries. That is part of what is making the PMS market in Nigeria stable today. We believe that the set target of exiting PMS importation in 2019 is achievable,” he stated.
He lamented that that rehabilitation of the refineries has been not been having the required headway due to lack of regular Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) over the years, noting that it would take more years to get the refineries fully back to their standard capacities.
In his words; “Don’t forget also that for us to exit PMS importation in 2019, we have to also bring in new refineries that will co-locate with existing ones together with the new ones that will be built. Then, we see ourselves as a net exporter of products. On this, I can tell you that we are on course.’
It will be recalled that last year, the Hon.Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu echoed a related statement that fuel importation would be dropped by 60 percent in Nigeria in 2018 and subsequently prepare the country for net export by 2019.
For some years now, Nigeria has been importing refined oil from other countries due to moribund state of our refineries.
Nigeria refineries have been bedeviled with poor turnaround maintenance and lack of effective management; more so lack of vision of our past leaders who failed to plan ahead of increase in population also accounts for this problem because the volume of oil that is being produced and refined in the country is not enough for the ever-growing population; thus the need to refine outside the country