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Nigeria Should Be Producing 70m Litres Of Petrol Per Day If All Four Refineries Are Working, Says Faith Nwadishi

“We have failed in making our infrastructure work,” Faith Nwadishi says as she laments Nigeria’s fuel scarcity struggle.

The Executive Director for the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Faith Nwadishi, has said that Nigeria should have been producing about 70 million litres of petrol per day if all the refineries in the country were up and running.

However, she said that the government has failed to meet the needs of Nigerians as it had failed to continually provide fuel to its citizens as the country grapples with yet another case of fuel scarcity despite Nigeria being part of the crude oil producers in Africa.

Nwadishi, who spoke with ARISE NEWS in an interview on Tuesday, said, “If we had our four refineries working, optimally, we will produce about 70 million litres per day that would have met our domestic consumption and would have been enough for us to export. So, the truth of the matter is that we have been told a lie for a very long time and we have been so comfortable in that lie that it is all about logistics, but the truth is that we have failed in making our infrastructure work, we have failed in meeting the needs of the country, and we have failed to make Nigerians benefit from the natural resources that all of us should have access to.”

Speaking on Nigeria’s ongoing fuel scarcity struggle, she said, “The truth is that we are back to square one, we have always been told a lie about the issues around fuel, subsidy, and petroleum availability in the country. And so, we are back to a situation whereby NNPC is telling you one thing, and the worst part is that you now have the independent marketers corroborating what the NNPC is saying, because NNPC is saying it’s logistic problem, and the petroleum marketers are saying it will take you another two weeks because they have to do some other things, which also boils down to the fact that it is also logistics problem.

“And so, the fact of the matter is that we are supposed to be the Number One crude oil producing country in Africa, and yet, we don’t have access to the finished product. So, you have a situation whereby we have four refineries in the country that is supposed by the way to produce 450,000 barrels per day that when you refine all the products, you’re supposed to get over 70 million litres of petrol that is supposed to meet our domestic need of the country.”

Nwadishi then went on to lament the fact that despite the promises given that Nigeria’s refineries will begin work soon, months have passed since the given date for the refineries to start running, and there has been no explanation or updates to Nigerians.

She said, “What is the reasoning or economic reasoning behind why a country like Nigeria that already has established four refineries that should refine 450,000 barrels of crude per day, that is, crude taken from all of the people that are extracting crude within your country, refine them, and let them be available for domestic usage, what is the economic reason behind going to take 25% equity shares in an independent private refinery that is going to refine 650,000 barrels per day?

“Now you have that refinery there, and if you follow the EITI report from NEITI in Nigeria, you will find that for some years, those refineries were producing at zero, and some people were getting promoted, people were employed on those jobs, people were being paid salaries on those jobs, and they were producing zero crude per year.

“And so, what happens is you have the other international oil companies that are in Nigeria producing and exporting out of the country because the refineries we have in the country were not able to do that. After a while, we decided to do what is called the crude oil swap- you swap the 450,000 barrels and bring in the refined products. It’s akin to just the same thing as you live beside water in your home, and you don’t have portable water to drink, you need to import portable water for people to drink.”

Nwadishi then said that Nigeria needs to address the “question of impunity” along the value chain in the industry, and that people should begin to be held responsible.

“We need to begin to hold people responsible. The National Assembly needs to wake up to its oversight functions, ensure that they are holding these people accountable,” she said.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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