Nigerian oil firms mandated to supply 483,000 bpd of crude oil to local refineries

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Council has issued new regulations requiring oil producers to send around 483,000 barrels per day of crude oil to nearby refineries during the first half of 2024.

This program is part of the efforts of Africa’s largest crude oil exporter to secure a steady supply for domestic processing.

The Dangote oil refinery and at least three government-run refineries are among the local refineries set to begin operations in 2024.

According to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission’s recently announced Domestic Crude Supply Obligation criteria, the 650,000-barrel-per-day Dangote refinery is slated to earn the largest portion, with a volume of 325,000 bpd.

According to the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Council, six refineries with a combined refining capacity of 864,500 barrels per day are expected to begin operations in 2024. As a result, oil producers will be required to supply somewhat more than half of the crude required to meet these processing capacities.

Warri and Port-Harcourt refineries, for example, are expected to receive 75,000 and 54,000 barrels of crude oil daily, respectively, from the crude oil supply. Meanwhile, refineries like Waltersmith, OPAC, and Niger Delta Petroleum Refinery, among others, are expected to get 10,000 bpd or less.

The Petroleum Industry Act, adopted in 2021, included a provision requiring Nigerian oil producers to allocate a percentage of their crude to domestic refineries to avoid shortages. This regulation, however, has not yet been applied.

Following the termination of the fuel subsidy in June, Nigeria has been attempting to reduce imports of petroleum products while keeping prices reasonably low. After the subsidy was removed in June, the price of petrol increased by more than 200%.

Despite the fact that the NNPCL’s CEO claimed in a June interview that local refining will not considerably cut fuel prices across the country post-subsidy. He expressly said that the cut will range from N20 to N30 from the imported fuel.

Since 2021, the country has used foreign contractors to renovate its state-owned refineries and has assisted the private sector in the construction of others. The Dangote refinery was inaugurated in May, but it has yet to begin refining despite receiving oil earlier this month.

In addition, the former Port-Harcourt refinery’s turnaround maintenance has been finished, and it will begin refining 60,000 barrels of oil per day in January 2024.

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Perform or be sacked, Tinubu tells new NNPCL board members

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, asked members of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to immediately get to work, warning that non-performance will not be tolerated.

Tinubu also warned that conducts suggesting a sense of entitlement will not be tolerated, and that the board could be dissolved over non-performance without prior notice to members.

“But you could be suddenly dissolved if there is no sustained excellence in performance,” Tinubu said when he inaugurated the Board of the NNPCL at the State House, Abuja.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he signed Monday titled President Tinubu to NNPCL Board: non-performance will not be tolerated.’

Tinubu promised to optimise Nigeria’s security architecture to improve the performance of the board.

“The challenge is corporate governance. Yes, we will improve the security situation. We are working very hard.

“Sincerely, the Chief Executive Office, Kyari, is doing very well, and doing all that I know.

“It is my honour to inaugurate this Board, which has people of great integrity. I am honoured that we are doing this. I recognise all of you,’’ he said.

Tinubu said the board must prioritise corporate social responsibility for the Niger Delta people, considering the devastating effects of oil exploration and exploitation on the environment.

He said, “Niger Delta must be seen as the goose that lays the golden egg, and we must treat that region with the deserved respect and care.

“It is not asking for too much to ensure quality and constant water supply, schools, medical facilities, and roads. It is not about us. It is about the well-being of the entire country and the lifeblood of the nation.

“We should care more about the environment. We will do more for security to minimise stealing and vandalism.”

The President directed that more attention should be given to gas as Nigeria transitions to cleaner energy, saying, “We need to show that we are committed to the welfare of our country.”

He added, “Take a look at the Petroleum Industry Act, and know what the pitfalls are. The Cabinet members and Board should decide what we can do differently for production increase, profitability, and governance. It is in your hands. I will work with you.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board, Pius Akinyelure, commended the President for the removal of petrol subsidy, noting that the nation would have drowned in debt, but for his decisiveness.

“Our focus is to increase production. We must address the problem of stealing and pipeline vandalization in the Niger Delta. We are aware of the efforts in the past, but we will do more,’’ he said.


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Disclose Nigeria’s daily oil production, exportation, SERAP tells NNPCL

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, to “promptly publish details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports every day and the total amounts of revenues generated from oil since the removal of subsidy on petrol in May 2023.”

SERAP urged him “to disclose how much of the revenues generated from oil have been remitted to the public treasury since the removal of subsidy on petrol.”

SERAP also urged him “to disclose details of payment of N11 trillion as subsidy, and to clarify allegations that the NNPCL has failed to remit revenues generated from oil to the public treasury since the removal of subsidy on petrol.”

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had last week alleged that “the NNPCL is failing to remit enough foreign exchange into the treasury despite the removal of fuel subsidy,” asking: “Where is the money?”

In the letter dated 9 December 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said, “There is a legitimate public interest in disclosing the information sought.”

SERAP said, “Opacity in the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest.”

“Transparency would ensure that the revenues are not diverted into private pockets, and increase public trust that the money would be used to benefit Nigerians.”

The letter, read in part, “The public interest in publishing the information sought outweighs any considerations to withhold the information.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

“If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel the NNPCL to comply with our requests in the public interest.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned that years of allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector and entrenched impunity of perpetrators have undermined public trust and confidence in the NNPCL.”

“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the operations of the NNPCL would improve the enjoyment by Nigerians of their right to natural wealth and resources.”

“SERAP is concerned that despite the country’s enormous oil wealth, ordinary Nigerians have derived very little benefit from oil money primarily because of widespread grand corruption, and the culture of impunity of perpetrators.”

“Combating the corruption epidemic in the oil sector would alleviate poverty, improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services, and enhance the ability of the government to meet its human rights and anti-corruption obligations.”

“SERAP notes that Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) requires public institutions and officials to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

“Section 16(2) of the Nigerian Constitution further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.’”

“Section 13 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 imposes clear responsibility on the NNPCL to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution.”

“Nigeria has made legally binding commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.”

“Articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption also impose legal obligations on the NNPCL to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds. These commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.”

“Nigerians are entitled to the right to receive information without any interference or distortion, and the enjoyment of this right should be based on the principle of maximum disclosure, and a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions.”

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports every day and the total amounts of revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury.”

“The information requested for as indicated above, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FoI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, the interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency, and accountability.”

“The Freedom of Information Act, Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution, and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights guarantee to everyone the right to information, including the details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports every day and the total amounts of revenues generated from oil and remitted to the public treasury.”

“By the combined reading of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, there are transparency obligations imposed on the NNPCL to widely publish the details sought.”

“The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their public institutions’ activities.”

“According to our information, the NNPCL has failed to disclose the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports.”

“The NNPCL has also reportedly failed to publish details of revenues generated from the production and exportation of oil and the amounts of revenues remitted to the public treasury as required by Nigerian laws.”

“According to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, ‘It is only the NNPCL that can give the figures about how much oil we produce daily, how much we sell, and where the money is going. We are no longer paying subsidies so where are the dollars? Where is the money?’”


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2024 Budget: NNPCL rejects move to increase oil production benchmark

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, on Friday, rejected the move by the Senate Committee on Appropriation to increase the crude oil production benchmark in the 2024 Appropriation Bill from 1.7 million barrels per day to 1.8 mb/d.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Solomon Adeola, had given the suggestion during the budget defence session between his committee and the management of the NNPCL.

The Federal Government, in the Appropriation Bill, gave an average crude oil production benchmark of 1.78 mb/d, and a crude oil price benchmark of $77.96.

The NNPCL GCEO told the committee that the oil giant would stick to the benchmark approved by President Bola Tinubu in the Appropriation Bill.

Kyari submitted that the crude oil price and production benchmarks were based on dynamics in the global oil market.

He said, “I will advise that we stick to the submission of Mr President on the quota. There is no way we will get crude oil (for) less than $70.

“Once economies are growing, there will be sustained demands for crude oil in our country and other countries.

“The estimates supplied by Mr President are realistic. When we say production, we mean total production of crude oil and condensates.

“So we combine condensates and crude oil as total marginal production. So we know our estimates are realistic. There is no curtailment on condensates from OPEC.”

Reinforcing his stance on realistic estimates by Tinubu, Kyari, however, cautioned that security challenges in the Niger Delta region could frustrate the projections of the Federal Government, citing crude oil theft.

The NNPCL GCEO told the gathering of lawmakers and journalists that illegal crude oil bunkering in the oil-producing states is alarming as he revealed that there were over 4,800 illegal connections on crude oil pipelines.

Kyari, while responding to the comments by a Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker representing Bayelsa Central, Benson Konbowei, who said he, like every other person from the Niger Delta, could distill oil, said, “The situation we have in (the) Niger Delta in terms of security is a calamity.

“We don’t have that anywhere in the world. As it is today, about 4,800 illegal connections are made on the over 5,000 oil pipelines across the country.

“The illegal connections on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta is so rampant that within 100 kilometres of the affected pipelines, 300 insertions are made on them, which eventually made the pipe to be weak to the point of not being able to hold the pressure of oil pumped, let alone, delivering it to the targeted destination.

“Additionally, it is abnormal to engage non-state actors to protect critical assets like oil pipelines. We have, however, responded abnormally and are getting results, because unlike as it was in July 2022 when less than 1.2 million barrels of oil were produced per day, it has been 1.5 million barrels per day within the last two to three months.”

 Kyari also gave an update on the turnaround maintenance of the nation’s four refineries, insisting that the Port Harcourt refineries would come on stream in December while the Warri Refinery would resume production in the first quarter of 2024.

The NNPCL GCEO gave December 2024 as the production target of the Kaduna Refinery.

He also informed the committee members that the 1.78 mbp/d oil production for the 2024 budget, included condensate which was 200,000 to 300,000 barrels bp/d.

Reacting, Senator Adeola, said Kyari had strengthened the committee’s convictions on the workability of the assumptions and projections of the 2024 budgetary proposals.


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Claims that FG has returned subsidy on fuel baseless – Kyari

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has denied allegations making the rounds that the federal government may be paying subsidy on fuel imports to stabilise the price amidst forex fluctuations.

Kyari, who met with President Bola Tinubu on Monday, at the Presidential Villa, claimed that the market forces of demand and supply was simply playing out.

The NNPC GMD also disclosed that over 1.4 billion litres of fuel products are currently in stock, both marine and land.

He reasoned that the semblance of queues coming up in parts of the country may be due to little price differentials among the marketers, including poor road networks hampering the transportation of products across the country.

His words, “They have to reroute the trucks around many, many locations for them to be able to reach and that created delays and some supply gaps. But that has been filled and we do not see any of such problems again. And secondly, because of the full deregulation that we have in this sector, marketers are now competing amongst themselves.

“So you must have noticed some fuel stations will reduce prices by two and three naira, so customers will naturally run to those places where you have that reduction in prices. And that creates panic, because for those who don’t know why they are doing it, they will think that there’s something wrong happening, or there’s an ominous sign of scarcity, or people will start queuing up in the fuel stations.

“Otherwise, there is no challenge. Supply is robust. We have over 1.4 billion litres of product in our hands, both marine and land. Also, there are no issues with the delivery of those products onto the land. So there is no fear—nothing to bother about. But we are also happy that the market forces are now playing out and marketers are competing and of course there are a few issues we’re engaging them to resolve alongside other agencies of government and critical issues around access to foreign exchange”.

Commenting on the challenges associated with accessing forex to facilitate product availability, Kyari said the government is working on modalities to ensure the supply of FX into the market.

He said the FX markets will stabilise, noting that the I&E window is currently around 770.

“We know that those inputs that’s already happening, the inputs of government today will crystallise, and they will also come to an equilibrium position in the FX market, and this is a dream of this country.

“So they will have a stable FX market and a stable product market where the prices of products will also speak to the prices of other commodities. And this is already manifesting, and we think this is the economic revolution that this country needs.”

On speculations about whether subsidy is back, he said, “No subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our full costs from the products that we import. We sell to the market, and we understand why the marketers are unable to import.

“We hope that they do it very quickly, and these are some of the interventions the government is doing where there is no subsidy.”

(Daily Post)

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FAAC queries NNPCL over $55m NLNG dividend

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has launched an investigation to find out what the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) did with some dividends from the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).

NLNG is a Nigerian natural gas company that operates in the liquefied natural gas sector.

An Ad-hoc committee is currently reviewing and comparing the amounts due for subsidies, taxes, royalties, and other payments, with the amounts that have been received or paid so far.

According to the report of the FAAC post mortem sub-committee for August, $275 million accrued as dividend from the NLNG.

NNPCL reported that out of the total, $220 million was used to pay off the nation’s debt on subsidy, which is 80 per cent of the total dividend.

However, NNPCL withheld $55 million or 20 per cent that should have been paid to the nation’s coffers, a development the committee said was unconstitutional.

The Ad-hoc Committee had its inaugural meeting on 26th July, to consider the terms of reference. Thereafter, the Sub-Committee wrote to NNPCL requesting for the details of dividend accrued from NLNG operations from inception to date. The Sub-Committee is awaiting response from NNPCL.

In July, it was revealed that the NNPC Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) Crude Oil lifting stood at 1.45 Mbbls for both export and domestic crude which is relatively higher than 1.33Mbbls recorded last month by 9.02 per cent.

Under the PSC Profit Crude and Gas Receipt and Distribution, crude oil export revenue received in July amounted to $17.75 million while the sum of N65.53 billion was the Domestic PSC crude oil and gas receipt in July.

The Federation Share which is 40 per cent of PSC Profits amounting to $7.10 million and N26.21 billion were transferred to Federation Account and shared in August.

Aside the $55 million, the sum of $5.33 million and N19.66 billion were transferred to NNPC Ltd as Management fee “being 30 per cent share of PSC Profit in line with Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)” the report revealed.

The sum of $5.33 million and N19.66 billion were also transferred to Frontier Exploration Funds (FEF) being 30 percent share of PSC Profit in line with PIA.

The PIA establishes FEF to provide financial support for the exploration and development of new areas that have not yet been explored for hydrocarbons such as oil and gas or where exploration has been limited. Areas targeted by the FEF include regions like Anambra, Bida, Sokoto, Chad, and Benue.

Also during the August meeting of FAAC certain financial information was disclosed regarding dividends that would be credited to the Federation Account in Nigeria. Specifically, the NNPC Ltd announced an estimated interim dividend payment of N81.17 billion to be allocated to the Federation Account.

This dividend payment represents a portion of the profits or earnings generated by NNPC Ltd that will be distributed to the Nigerian government for the benefit of the Federation Account.

Additionally, it was revealed that the NLNG has a dividend due to the Federation Account amounting to $158.17 million.

With regards to obligations owed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) it was disclosed that certain sums of money were being reconciled for domestic products in Nigeria.

The first was a total of $109.47 million and N10.02 billion, which represent Joint Venture (JV) Royalty and Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Royalty for domestic products. These royalties were paid by companies involved in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria to NUPRC.

The second was $28.76 million and N92.51 billion undergoing reconciliation. These amounts represent JV Taxes and PSC Tax for domestic products.


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Fuel queues hit Lagos, others as marketers halt loading PMS due to alleged vandalised pipelines

Long queues for petrol have begun to resurface at filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states, and in few other locations in South-Western states.

Although The PUNCH gathered that queues were not seen in Abuja and other states in the North, it was learnt that depots in Lagos were gradually running dry of petrol.

Queues were sighted at many stations, particularly those on the Oshodi-Ojodu Berger Expressway and some sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, as vehicles that waited to purchase petrol stretched into the expressway, slowing down movement on the service lane.

North-West filling station had the longest queue, as it dispensed petrol at N568/litre. Others such as Eterna – N568/litre; NNPCL – N568/litre; TotalEnergies – N570/litre; and Mobil – N570/litre had shorter queues.

Conoil, Enyo and Oando at Berger in Lagos, had no product to dispense.

While some of TotalEnergies stations were seen dispensing, a branch of the station located on the Berger axis was locked.

A few others such as Worldoil, Fatgbems and Quest in Ogun State shut their outlets.

The Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Satellite Depot, Akin Akinrinade, told The PUNCH that the depot had not loaded products in the last three weeks.

According to him, even the NNPCL Retail depot is currently operating skeletal dispatching of products.

“From our end, the issue has been with the pipeline vandalism which we raised an alarm over since July. Satellite depot has not loaded any product in the last three weeks, and whenever there is a problem here, it is going to affect Lagos and the whole of South-West.

“Although I don’t know what has been happening in other depots, from what we gathered yesterday, even NNPC Retail has been operating skeletal product dispatching. The NNPC Retail loaded just three to four trucks to Ikoyi on Monday. No product was dispatched to other places. I don’t know about other depots,” he said.

The NNPCL Retail has 21 depots across the country, nine in the North, and 12 in the South. However, The PUNCH had reported in December  how the company abandoned the depots due to pipeline vandalism, and now relied on private depots to dispatch products.

Recently, NNPCL had been making efforts to put the pipelines in order. One of those efforts was the Satellite depots in Lagos which resumed operations last year, but was again vandalised in July.

Managers of the Ejigbo Satellite Depot had raised the alarm over incessant activities of pipeline vandals on System 2B pipeline in front of Good Luck Estate at Idimu, Alimosho Local Council Development Area of Lagos.

A statement released by Akinrinade at that time, said, “IPMAN Satellite Depot are constrained with heavy heart to announce the vandalism of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited pipeline at Idimu in Alimosho LCDA of Lagos State, in front of Good Luck Estate.

“This continuous vandalism is a setback to the effort of IPMAN and NNPCL to ensure uninterrupted supply of petrol to Lagos and the entire South-West region of Nigeria.”

The PUNCH also gathered that some depots owners had been unable to import products due to rising foreign exchange.

Sources close to the matter told The PUNCH that many filling stations had shut down operations as many could not afford to buy products due to high prices at the depots.

“Stations are now cutting down costs because most don’t have enough money to buy products to distribute to their outlets. That is why you see that those with more than one station had to close down some of them,” one of the sources told The PUNCH.

Another source who craved anonymity told The PUNCH that “the economy is tough right now and marketers have been unable to import products. Emadeb had teamed up with some other marketers and brought in about 27 million litres.

“But since then, who else did you hear has brought in the product? We are now back to the era of NNPCL being the sole importer, and would still continue to dictate what the market price would be.”

A top member of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria told one of our correspondents that demand now outweighs supply.

“NNPCL has reduced importation. And the whole idea was for private individuals to also augment what NNPCL brings in. But marketers are not importing. So NNPCL still remains the only importer,” he said.

When contacted to speak on the development, the spokesperson for NNPCL, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said he was speaking with an official of oil firm who had idea about the issue.

He promised to revert and our correspondent kept calling him for update, but got no response to the matter from the oil firm as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, Muhammad had stated in June that the company would cut down its fuel imports programme in August once the Dangote Refinery began to push out refined petroleum products from late July or early August.  NNPCL owns a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery.

Muhammad had said, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here; refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.

“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?

“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”

Corroborating Muhammed, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with oil marketers in Abuja, also in June, the Chief Executive, Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, said NNPCL had cut down on importation.

Ahmed had said, “The market is open already, we have to follow the regulations. So we have rolled out policies that are user-friendly. Some of them (marketers) have already started putting their applications in place. This is because we don’t want to create a gap. NNPCL is slowing down on their importation.”

Since the end of fuel subsidy, the price of petrol had risen from an average of between N180/N200 per litre, to between N614 and N700 per litre. Although it was later debunked by the NNPCL, rumour had it that the price could go as high as N720 per litre due to the rising exchange rate and increase in the cost of crude at the international market.

The National Controller Operations, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, confirmed that oil marketers were not importing because of the price. He, however, said there was no cause for alarm.

“Marketers are not importing because of the price. But marketers can still pick it up from the NNPCL. We know NNPCL would intervene. So no cause for alarm,” he said.

Further checks by The PUNCH revealed many major outlets within Lagos metropolis did not dispense fuel to customers on Tuesday.

It was observed that between Berger and Iyanoworo stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, major outlets like Conoil (two outlets), Total (two outlets), African Petroleum, Oando and Enyo did not dispense fuel to customers.

At Mobil Filling station located adjacent to the Lagos State Secretariat (in-bound Alausa), there was a sizeable queue of motorists waiting in line to buy petrol while other customers lined up with jerry cans and jostled in a bid to get ahead in the queue.

The development sparked fears among motorists who expressed concern that Tuesday’s turn of events could be a prelude to an increase in the pump price of petrol.

A cab driver, Babatunde Onifade, who plies between Berger-Victoria Island, told one of our correspondents that the sudden closure of many filling stations along the axis had triggered panic among commercial transport operators who had a hard time buying fuel on Tuesday.

Some filling stations along Idimi-Egbeda axis were also visited on Tuesday, and it was observed that an outlet belonging to the NNPCL along the axis was not selling.

It was also observed that there was queue at an Oando fuel station on the axis.

A motorist who gave his name as Harry Ugochukwu, said, “NNPC here is not selling and they sold on Sunday. It is only the Oando outlet here that is selling at the normal price and as you can see there is queue here.”

At Dopemu, inward Agege, it was observed that a NIPCO outlet was selling with little or no queue.

Commenting on the development in the South-West, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said though the queues had yet to get to the South-South, North and other regions, the drop in imports might warrant a spread in queues.

“People cannot import because there is NP forex to do that, and this is not good for a liberalised market. That is why we’ve continued to advocate for the rehabilitation of refineries in good time to avoid a spread of such queues to other regions of the country,” he stated.


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Port Harcourt refinery to begin operations December – Minister

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, on Friday, announced that the Port Harcourt Refinery Company would begin operations in December this year.

He disclosed this while inspecting the rehabilitation exercise at the Port Harcourt Refining Company plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, according to a statement issued in Abuja by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

The minister, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said based on the level of progress recorded at the project, the plant would come back on stream by December.

“Our objective in coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation. From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year.

“Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year. If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation,” Lokpobiri said.

The minister said he was satisfied with the ongoing rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt refinery, noting that once all the refineries were back on stream, Nigerians would enjoy a better supply of petroleum products and foreign exchange would be domesticated.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said bringing back the refineries to their optimal levels was a national aspiration and the company remained focused on delivering that.

“We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses. We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity.

“We are hopeful that in 2024, this country will be a net exporter of petroleum products,” Kyari stated.

On his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said, “We are here to go into the field. Yesterday was the era of subsidies. Today, we don’t have subsidies.

“Today, people are in a desperate situation to heave a sigh of relief and see how to live. You all know that petrol is very vital to our economy. All hands must be on deck to ensure that the refineries are working.”


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