Nigeria to continue fuel importation beyond 2016 – Minister
By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kaduna.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu today in Kaduna said Nigeria will continue to import fuel beyond 2016 as the three refineries operating even at 100 per cent installed capacity cannot meet the local consumption of the country.
Kachikwu disclosed this during an interaction with journalists after a working tour of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company along with top management team of the company.
The Minister stressed that though the three refineries in the country have picked up and local refining commenced, there is still a lot to be done despite the fact that queues are disappearing gradually.
He asserted that until investors in the private sector take the initiatives and invest in building and operating more refineries, Nigeria will continue to import the product to ameliorate shortage of local consumption. “Best case situation is 25% local and 75% importation. Worse case is what we are experiencing now. In the next few weeks however, queues will disappear in fuel stations,” he enthused.
The Minister assured that Kaduna Refinery will soon attain 2 million litres per day capacity as soon as an FCC unit is fully on stream. “We need to get it back to re-kit it to work well. We will do that with some level of production going on,” he stressed.
Kachiukwu stressed that the issue of subsidy is forgone as the current price of 87 naira per litre is without any subsidy. “We will not be fluctuating prices, we will take an average. Today no subsidy, in January we will look at the situation and announce it” he explained.
On the rumoured privatization of the refineries, the Minister said no such plan is in the offing. H stressed that even if the government would sell, not in the form the companies are now, until they are rejigged and made profitable.
He was however quick to point out that the administration would be more than happy to bring on third party to ensure efficient running of the refineries jointly with government as against absolute privatization.
Kachikwu also pointed out that with full utilization of the refineries, the value chains in terms of by-product will be higher as there will be more loops, power and petrochemical products.