The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over the current drop in petroleum product output from the refineries, describing the development as unfortunate for the oil and gas industry.
It warned that the current development could fuel more hardship, especially to the downtrodden masses in the face of the dwindling price of oil on the international market.
The oil workers’ union claimed that the output from the refineries had dropped at an average of 16 per cent of their combined nameplate capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.
This development it stated is unfortunate and uncomfortable for the downstream oil and gas sector of the economy.
The union, in a statement issued by its President, Igwe Achese, expressed regret that the four refineries, which operated at 10 per cent installed capacity in June, despite the abundance of crude oil deposits in the land has now dropped to an average of 16 per cent combined capacity.
The union pointed out that with the era of government imposed austerity measures, the run on the foreign exchange to import fuel will have much impact on the economy, thus fuelling more hardship, especially to the down-trodden masses.
The oil workers union reiterated its earlier submission that a cabal is benefitting from the importation of fuel at the expense of Nigerian people, noting that the same cabal is working in unison to make the nation’s four refineries not to funtion, so that it can be sold to them as scraps.
The union urged the federal government to ensure that the Turn-Around-Maintenance of the nation’s four refineries and make sure that adequate supply of crude is guaranted in order to reduce the importation of petroleum products.
The union warned that it will not allow government sell the refineries as scraps, when they can be reactivated insisting that government must reduce the current massive importation of petroleum products into the country.
The union further called on the federal government to put machineries in motion to effectively monitor the pipelines vandalism so that crude will be available to the refineries uninterrupted.
“NUPENG deplores the current state of the refineries, as they are strategic, and for security reasons must not be allowed to rot away and sold but increase their capacity utilisation and establish new ones.
“As part of the industrialisation programme and transformation agenda of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to revive our industries, the nation’s four refineries must be put fully on stream in order to generate more jobs and save the nation’s of scarce foreign exchange,” the statement added.