The NNPC needs to get its story straight on the refineries

Yesterday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirmed, on its official twitter account, that its refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri now have a combined daily production of 6.76 million litres of petroleum. That number is set to increase to 10 million litres by the end of January, 2016. It is thought that this new production capacity of the NNPC will aid in boosting fuel supply and distribution across the nation.

However, a few days ago, NNPC reported that all of its refineries – one in Kaduna, one in Port Harcourt and another in Warri – in November 2015 operated at zero capacity. It also reported that only two of these refineries came back online on December 31, without any mention of its production capacity. But now four days later, all are online and churning out oil like water. NNPC boss, Ibe Kachikwu, in September 2015, gave the NNPC a 90-day ultimatum to fix its refineries. It seems these new sudden developments concerning production capacity of its refineries would help ensure the public that it had met its deadline.

The fuel scarcity pandemonium that has gripped the nation since November does not seem to have come to an end, despite assurances from the NNPC. Although the long, disheartening queues have reduced drastically in petrol stations around Nigeria, the hike in prices that accompanied the scarcity has not ended in most states in Nigeria. Despite the new price of N86.5 per litre of petrol announced by Nigeria’s Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) last week, some petrol stations still sell petrol above this price. Petrol stations in some South-Western states sell a litre of petrol for N100, in other instances they have reportedly sold for as high as N130. Though the NNPC has stated that it will monitor the pricing system across these filling stations using NNPC staff, it remains to be seen how far they would go with that solution.

The NNPC is currently going through re-structuring to correct past mistakes. But in order to do so effectively, they need to make sure they tell one story, even if its not a story the general public wants to hear.

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