The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari admitted that there is no excuse for the failure of Nigeria’s refinery to work. Instead, he chose to take the high road and blamed the failure of the moribund refineries on due negligence and bad maintenance culture.
This was his submission when he was asked a question about the NNPC’s technical capacity to properly manage oil exploration, refineries, and sales by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) in Abuja yesterday.
The Details: Kyari said, The refineries didn’t fail because there were no skills. They failed because we are unable to take care of the refineries. And we don’t have to give excuses why we didn’t take care of them. But what we have decided to do is to make them work. There is no scarcity of skilled people.”
Going forward, Kyari noted that Nigeria is actually skilled to make the oil sector work. He added that Nigerians are industrious as their contributions can be found everywhere in the global oil and industry. He also gave an assurance to make the refineries work, promising to put strategies in place.
“The oil industry is a technology-based industry and this technology evolves every day. I can say that in the entire global oil and gas industry, there is nowhere you would have gone that you would not find a skilled Nigerian working in the oil and gas industry. And indeed, we are probably the largest contributor to skilled manpower in the industry of all the black nations of the world.
“The will is there today and our plan is to get them to work. And I assure you that the plans we have in place will deliver these refineries. There is no issue around the absence of skills; we have the best refiners in the world. Anywhere you go in the world, they will attest to it that we have the best refiners who are Africans in this country,” he said.
The setbacks: Despite a national target of three million barrels per day and 40 million barrels of reserves, the target has been elusive according to Kyari. He, however, pledged a commitment to the lawmakers to make sure that the target is attainable.
“We are taking steps to realise this before the end of 2023, which is possible. A number of interventions are ongoing currently, including our elaborate intrusion into the frontier basins,” Kyari added.
In recent articles, NNPC disclosed its decision to gain trust in the hearts of its stakeholders by publishing details of its petroleum products supplies. Part of the initiatives was the flag off of Operation white – a team of 89 persons inaugurated by the Federal Government to track fuel consumption in the country.