Kaduna, Warri Refineries Still Shut Down as Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder
LAGOS MARCH 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-As fuel scarcity continue to persist, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said of the nation’s three refineries, only the Port Harcourt refinery is operating, as attacks on the Escravos-Warri pipelines have shut out crude supply to both the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
This was stated by the NNPC’s Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, Babatunde Adeniran, during an inspection of filling stations in Abuja, where he also told journalists that special intervention measures have been put in place to end the shortages.
According to him, the Port Harcourt refinery is working because the NNPC have been able to fix the Bonny-Port Harcourt line which now supplies crude to the refinery.
He said, “Kaduna cannot work because Warri also supplies Kaduna with product. So I want to appeal to Nigerians, that these facilities are meant for the comfort of Nigerians. We should not be the enemies of ourselves by going there to destroy what government has put there to make life easier for us. We appeal to the people perpetuating this to stop because when they do it, the effect is what you are seeing today.”
Meanwhile, as part of effort to stabilise the supply chain, Adeniran also warned private depot owners that any of them caught selling petrol to marketers above government approved official ex-depot price of N76.50 per litre would be severely sanctioned.
While stating that efforts are on, in collaboration with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to fish depot owners involved in fraudulent dealings, he assured that the queues would clear within days as special 60,000 litres trucks of products have started arriving at various parts of the country from Lagos and Oghara in Delta State.
He said: “We have made special arrangements to bring in intervention trucks, part of which have started coming in. If you go round all the streets of Abuja now you will see that virtually all stations are selling because we have distributed about 20 trucks which just arrived Abuja and we are expecting another 25 and may be another 30 throughout next week.
“Our supply today is coming from NNPC, 100 per cent. Under normal circumstances NNPC is supposed to supply 48 per cent but because other complimentary marketers are not bringing in products NNPC has to take this upon itself to supply the entire country to make up for this short supply, and you can be sure that as much as we try you will still have this hitch”.
Adeniran who further blamed the current crisis on strikes by Petroleum Tankers Drivers and staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in the past two weeks, said because the pipelines are not working due to vandalism, any little disruption has severe consequences.
He insisted that for these disruptions to the supply chain, the NNPC have enough products to sustain the nation. “As for the product, we have product, as I am talking to you here, we have the supply for the month of March, fully,” Adeniran added.