A total of N81.41Bn was expended on Nigeria’s refineries between January and August this year but the facilities refined no drop of crude oil all through this period, latest data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed.

Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company posted a cumulative revenue of N6.54Bn during the eight-month period. With a revenue of N6.54Bn and a total expense of N81.41Bn, the facilities ended up with a deficit of N78.87Bn, according to figures contained in the just-released August 2020 report of the NNPC.

Further analysis of figures from the latest report, as well as those earlier released by the corporation, showed that the revenue, expense and deficit of KRPC during the period under review were N6.22Bn, N33.61Bn and N27.39Bn respectively. PHRC posted a revenue, expense and deficit of N61m, N25.57bn and N25.51Bn respectively from January to August 2020.

Similarly, WRPC earned a revenue of N257m, incurred an expense of N22.23Bn and posted a deficit of N21.98Bn during the same period. It was further gathered that for 13 straight months, the facilities had been running without refining any volume of crude oil. Data from the consolidated refineries operations put the volume of crude processed by the facilities from August 2019 to August 2020 at zero metric tonnes.

With a cumulative plant capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, the facilities posted a capacity utilisation of zero per cent all through the 13-month period. However, the volume of crude they recorded as closing stock between August 2019 and August this year was 3.78 million metric tonnes. For several years, Nigeria has been importing the bulk of its refined petroleum products as a result of the inability of its refineries to refine crude oil produced within the country.

On Thursday, 19th of November 2020, the Federal Government revealed that Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, was set to resume the importation of petroleum products from a neighbouring country, Niger Republic. The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources said in a statement that the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for petroleum products transportation and storage.

It said following bilateral agreements between the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and his Nigerien counterpart, Mahamadou Issoufou, talks had been ongoing between the two countries for over four months – through the NNPC and Niger’s Societe Nigerienne De Petrole. According to the statement, Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, had an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

“Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000bpd, mostly for export,” it said. The national oil firm again explained in its latest monthly report that the declining operational performance of Nigeria’s refineries was attributable to ongoing revamping of the facilities. It said the revamping of the facilities was expected to further enhance their capacity utilisation once completed.

Operators in the downstream oil sector as well as economists have repeatedly called for a fast revamp of Nigeria’s refineries in order to halt the continued importation of refined petroleum products. The National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okonkwo, said, “Getting our refineries working optimally is so vital now to save us the continued depletion of our foreign exchange.

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