Journalism of Courage

Over 200 illegal refineries operating in Nigeria, says Mele Kyari

....no one could guarantee the security of petroleum supply, as countries are preserving excess volume that they have.

The Group Managing Director and CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, has disclosed that over 200 illegal refineries are operating across the country.

He said no government-owned refinery is working in the country at the moment, but that the NNPC “is in the process of doing a quick fix on the Warri refinery”, Persecondnews reports.

Kyari disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), investigating the increase in prices of diesel and cooking gas.

On petrol supply across the country, Kyari said no one could guarantee the security of petroleum supply, as countries are preserving excess volume that they have.

According to the NNPC boss, the solution to the current energy challenges include restoration of crude oil production and the provision of more foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to oil marketers.

He added that massive intervention is currently ongoing towards resolving the issues by the end of July.

He said: “At these illegal refineries there are people from all works of life there. Many of these people are completely armed and the community members cannot even report them, they are helpless because if they report them, they will come after them.

“My suggestion this moment is deliver supply, make sure oil marketers are also able to import, and there is need to engage the CBN to create more dollars, once we do these, dollars will be allocated for the import of AGO, the will also dampen the effects of going to buy dollar in the open market.

“So you can have cheaper dollar and definitely it will affect the price. Secondly, the regulatory institutions, the authority, Consumer Protection Council and NNPC, I suggest we need to sit jointly to see how arbitrage can be managed so that the end-user is not completely exploited.”

On whether the federal government will intervene in diesel pricing, Kyari ruled out the possibility of returning to the regime of subsidising diesel and LPG.

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