For years, Nigeria’s four refineries have continuously failed to reach production capacity, with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, noting that attempts to “salvage” them have “ended up in one misfortune or another”.
Kyari, at the 17th All Nigeria Editors Conference 2021 organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Abuja, highlighted issues besetting the sector.
Blaming Nigerian elites for stealing the country’s crude oil, Kyari pointed accusing fingers at “the elite of the society”.
He said, “Today, as we all know, Nigeria is in an energy deficit. We import all our petroleum products. In the past several years, every attempt to salvage our refineries has ended up in one misfortune or another.
“While oil price is heading high and should have been a bumper harvest for the Nigerian ailing and hydrocarbon-dependent economy, importation of the finished product erodes necessary gains through use of foreign exchange earning and payment of subsidy, which has risen to over N1 trillion in less than eight months that the scheme was introduced through the back door.
“Who steals crude oil? It is not the ordinary man in the village. It’s the elite of society, and it needs all of us to fight them. When we fight them, it is for survival of all of us.
“Insecurity is impacting the oil and gas industry, our workers, across the country, are targets. Many have been kidnapped and ransom paid. We have issues of insecurity around our facets and facilities.”