Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has disclosed that for eight straight months, the refineries under its management failed to produce a drop of petrol or kerosene.
The latest figures released by the NNPC on refined white products (petrol and kerosene) showed that from June 2019 till January 2020, the facilities refined none of the identified finished products.
It was further noted that the last time the refineries produced Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, was in May last year.
The same scenario also applied in the production of Dual Purpose Kerosene, often referred to as kerosene, as the last time it was refined by the facilities was in May 2019.
Refineries under the management of the NNPC are the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company.
An analysis of the figures should that in January, February and March 2019, the refineries produced 45.5 million litres, 44.1 million litres and 44.1 million litres of petrol respectively.
Also, in the same first three months of last year, they collectively produced 36 million litres, 36.1 million litres and 38.2 million litres of the DPK respectively.
But in April last year, their production of the PMS and the DPK crashed to zero, meaning that they refined no white product in that month.
In May 2019, they produced 9.1 million litres of petrol and 4.9 million litres of kerosene.
But from June last year till January 2020, no drop of petrol or kerosene was produced by the refineries, as they recorded zero all through the eight-month period.
Clarifying what prompted the dormancy in terms of petroleum products refining, the NNPC said, “No white product was produced in January 2020 and apparently for the past seven consecutive months.
“The lack of production is due to ongoing rehabilitation works at the refineries.”
But stakeholders in the oil sector criticised the never-ending rehabilitation of Nigeria’s refineries and had called on the government to privatise the facilities.
Recently, a consortium of about 15 civil society organisations urged the Federal Government to privatise the refineries.
According to the groups, this will help the government as it currently struggles to manage the Nigerian economy following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on crude oil price globally.
CISLAC, BudgIT and 13 other organisations disclosed this in a recommendation released after their meeting on developments in Nigeria’s oil sector.
They said, “As a matter of urgent national importance, we strongly support the call for the privatisation of the country’s refineries in their present condition to avoid further revenue losses.
“We encourage the government to adopt favourable fiscal terms that bring about a renewed investors’ confidence and help fast-track the 29+ refineries, which still have valid operating licenses.”