When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC announced recently that the nation’s three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri had attained a combined daily production of over 6.76 million litres of petrol per day, with a projected 10 million litres per day increase by the end of January 2016, The expectation of many Nigerians was that the era of perennial fuel scarcity would soon be over for the country. With the shutting of Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries however, Nigeria may be heading back to the trenches as far as oil and gas business is concerned.
On Wednesday the 20th of January 2016, the NNPC cited sabotage to crude –oil pipelines and breaches to the Bonny-Okrika supply line to Port Harcourt and the Escravos-Warri pipeline to Kaduna as reasons for closing down the two plants.
“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, group public affairs division of the corporation stated in confirmation.
Before the closure, Port Harcourt Refinery was producing over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting about 1.3 million litres of petrol production daily. Of course, that is different from other by-products of fuel accruing to the government. As it stands at the moment, only the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company, WRPC is producing a little above 1.4 million Litres of petrol per day for the local consumption of millions of Nigerians.
A detailed analysis of the figures shows that Nigeria is losing a whopping sum of over N435, 034,800 to the closure daily. A flip to the other side would reveal that the over 2000 people estimated to be working directly or indirectly with the plants are also going to be affected.
There are fears that the closure would bring back the winding issue of fuel scarcity in the country.
Babatunde Fashola, Minister of power had raised the alarm, saying that the country was losing some $2.3 million (2.1 million euros) a day to attacks on gas facilities and lost electricity production.
The military however has said that it would no longer tolerate the sabotage, while blaming it on criminal elements bent on destroying the nation’s strategic assets.