Group Managing Director NNPC and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that Nigeria will still rely on 75 per cent importation of fuel throughout the whole of next year.
The Minister stated this stated during his tour of Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, KRPC.
“The future is that, Nigeria is still going to import fuel in 2016 and beyond. Best case situation is 25 per cent local and 75 per cent importation. Worse case is what we are experiencing now.
“Until we begin to get individuals who can co-relocate, we are going to be doing a mixture of local and importation of fuel to meet up demands. In the next few weeks, however, queues will disappear in fuel stations.” He said.
According to the Minister, Kaduna refinery, in no time, will be producing more than two million litres per day capacity as soon as an Fluid Catalytic Cracking, FCC, unit is fully on stream. He also confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any policy about selling the refineries.
Nigeria has been facing chronic fuel shortages in the last 3 months as marketers struggle to import fuel due to the governments delay in paying subsidy claims. Another reason cited for the fuel scarcity are rumors that the government may be increasing the price of fuel leading some filling stations to hoard. The government has now said prices could also drop below the N87 price, a statement that has likely made fuel marketers to start selling thus the reduction in fuel queues.
Clamour for removal of fuel subsidy is at its highest in years and is seen as the likely solution to the fuel crisis. Those opposing fuel subsidy removal, including the Labour believe fuel prices will skyrocket if left to the forces of demand and supply. They claim that even if subsidy is removed, marketers may not be able to meet the about 40 million liters per day consumption by Nigerians thus ensuring demand outstrips supply. Minister for state for Petroleum Dr Ibe Kachikwu also buttresses this claim;
“Would you therefore free the price so that people can sell at whatever prices? Not likely, we would like to see some level of modulation where prices can relate to what the market dynamics are and that is what we are doing.
“My commitment and I think that is what the president’s commitment is, is one, provide products all the time so that there is efficiency, and provide it at the least possible price that you can and let it have some relationship with what the trends are,”