*All refineries grounded
Lagos — Nigeria, a country with the largest economy in West Africa now imports 100 per cent of its daily petroleum products consumption.
Most-recently published data by the country’s state oil company, NNPC shows that none of the four refineries- Kaduna, Warri, or Port Harcourt has refined any crude since the beginning of 2021.
As a matter of fact, further findings revealed that the refineries did not process any crude oil in 2020 too, as they have been out of operation for over a year.
The last time the refineries processed crude oil was in July 2019, leading to the loss of N177 billion (July 2019 to January 2021).
According to the NNPC data, Kaduna refinery incurred an operating deficit of N64.84bn from July 2019 to January 2021, Port Harcourt refinery lost N57.07bn, while the Warri refinery lost N55.30bn.
Before now, the country imports 91% of petrol consumed locally, while the refineries with 445,000 BPD combined capacity had operated at an average consolidated capacity utilisation of 7.87% between 2015 and 2020.
Data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed that although no refining took place in January, operational expenses amounted to ₦5.86billion.
Nigeria with an over 200million population capacity records a daily petrol consumption that sometimes skyrockets to 85million litres per day.
Her population is expected to hit 410 million people by 2050.
The NNPC blamed declining operational performance to ongoing revamping of the refineries, which it said is expected to further enhance capacity utilisation once completed.
Crude oil processed by the refineries fluctuated between 2015 and 2020- total crude processed was 10.43 million metric tonnes within this period.
The inability of the refineries to meet local needs had necessitated calls for construction of modular or mini refineries, and so far, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR has licensed a total of 23 as of March 2021.
Stakeholders have blamed successive governments for failing to bring the refineries up to their installed capacity due to the abandonment of the required Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, as at when due.
The NNPC had for some time now been the sole importer of petrol while it distributes to independent marketers across the country.
As a result of widespread clamour for local refining especially in the wake of deregulation of the country’s downstream sector, the federal government announced earmarking of $1.5 million for rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company, PHRC.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari assured Nigerians that the PHRC would roar back to life on or before April 5, 2023, with a target of at least 90% refining capacity.