The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has explained why the country has not been able to successfully fix the refineries after about 20 years of trying to do that.
The NNPC boss said that the failure to fix the refineries over these years was a strategy problem, as they never knew what they wanted to do with it. He said that the corporation didn’t get the right advisory services and the right strategy to go through with it.
Mele Kyari disclosed this on Friday, during a virtual conference organized by Atlantic council. He said that it was difficult to explain why an oil-producing country like Nigeria would become a net importer of petroleum products.
According to Kyari, “This reason is very simple, we couldn’t fix our refineries and that’s very difficult to explain. Why can’t we fix our refineries? We started this very many years ago. For 20 years, all attempts to fix the refineries failed for very simple reason, there is a strategy problem.
“First, we never knew what we wanted to do with it; we didn’t get the right advisory, the right strategy to go through this. And we started a process 4 years ago to getting oil traders to come and help us fix this, that never worked. We also have the strategy to make sure that we get in the original refinery builders to help us do it. That is not their job. It’s just like you are buying a car and saying that Toyota must come and repair it for you, that doesn’t work anywhere.’’
Going further, Kyari said that the country has changed its strategy to make sure that they have a new framework. The framework is to help the corporation and also the investors to put their money into it and ultimately change that equation. He said the way to go is to first fix the refineries as they have set a target for that and have a clear strategy for achieving it.
The NNPC boss also said that NNPC is working on building a condensate refinery in order to achieve self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products. He said that the condensate refinery which should have a total refining capacity of 200,000 barrels per day would complement production at Dangote Refinery when it takes off and the four NNPC refineries when they have been fixed and revived.