Petroleum minister highlights ways to grow crude oil reserves
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources

The Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the major solution to the petrol crisis is the building of modular refineries.

It was at a meeting of all stakeholders convened at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The meeting was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Maikanti Baru and marketers also attended.

Chairman of the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) Mr. Dapo Abiodun, said the meeting was to find out what went wrong and to proffer solution.

He explained that the marketers at the meeting made their submissions known to government and emphasized that the scarcity was not a marketer-induced problem.

“The problem that you saw is not willful on the part of anyone, either NNPC or marketers. The situation from our point of view is that from January to December, the price of crude remained relatively stable, following the hurricane Katrina in the month of September/October, crude prices went up and marketers lost the ability to import and sell at N145 per liter.” He said.

Abiodun aIso reveal that in  the past, marketers bring in about 60 per cent while the NNPC brings about 35 to 40 per cent. But, by October, marketers completely stopped importing because there was no more subsidy. Hence the burden of importing 100 percent then fell on the NNPC.

He noted that the volume of the consumption of petrol is highest in the country in the ’ember-months’. But thankfully, the NNPC rose to the occasion, they stepped up import, stepped up supplies that situation has since normalised.

Also at the meeting, the National President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, gave assurances that the issue will be resolved by tomorrow (today) as a committee will be set up to ensure that the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the IPMAN and all those that are supposed to be bringing in the products will contribute.

Dr. Kachiukwu noted the purpose of the meeting was to have a centrist analysis of what really went wrong and identify gaps in the supply chain.

A committee, raised at the meeting and chaired by the minister of state, will meet today to fine-tune the decisions.

It would be recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently in Lagos, confirmed that 10 modular refineries were at advanced stages of development in the Niger Delta.

The 10 modular refineries located in five out of the nine states in the Niger Delta. The states include: Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo.

Osinbajo said two of the refineries, Amakpe Refinery (Akwa Ibom), and OPAC Refinery (Delta State), have had their mini-refinery modules already fabricated, assembled and containerised overseas and ready for shipment to Nigeria for installation.

The modular refineries are expected to cushion the effect of fuel importation into the country and also provide jobs for the unemployed youths in the restive region of Niger Delta.