By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—NIGERIAN National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Group Executive Director (Commercial and Investments), Dr. Babatunde Adeniran, has said that the corporation would adopt a two- way approach to ensure steady supply of petroleum products in the country.
The two-way approach, he disclosed, includes mass importation of petroleum products as soon as the winter period in Europe was over and strorage of locally refined petroleum products in the strategic storage tanks.
Adeniran, who fielded questions from newsmen in Benin, Edo State, weekend, shortly after visiting some petrol stations in the state to ascertain the fuel shortage in the state, said: “The scarcity we are experiencing is not peculiar to Nigeria. Generally, refineries in Europe and America are changing their configurations and during this period of change, turn out of products will be low.
“As soon as we have the summer configurations which are peculiar to Nigerian needs, you will see that products will start coming in. That was why the Minister of State for Petroleum said that by the first week of April, things will start normalizing. Bear in mind that it takes about two weeks, 14 or 16 days, to bring in products all the way from Europe to Nigeria.
“So, even if all the configurations take place today and production is more than what we used to see last month or two months ago, when we had winter period, it will still take some days before we can bring in products. But definitely, arrangements have been put in place and products are coming in. By the time we get to the middle of the month, all these problems would have been resolved.
“We are not stopping there. The refineries are coming on stream. Now, we are able to supply crude oil to Port-Harcourt and Warri refineries and are making efforts to ensure that we start pushing crude to Kaduna refinery. To push crude oil from Warri to Kaduna will take about 10 days, but as soon as the crude gets there, the system there will start producing products.
“Apart from these measures that I have mentioned, plans are also on to ensure that products supplied will not suffer setback because we have good period during the summer and as soon as we enter the winter period again, we will be having some problems.
“We are also planning against the coming winter period and what we are planning to do is to have strategic storage tanks off-shore and on land. The NNPC tank farms that are not working will be revived, the pipelines to all these places would be revived so that when our refineries start working, if we have supplies from off-shore, we will just put the products into them so that if there is any shortage, we have a buffer from these strategic storages.”
He appealed to those vandalizing pipelines to desist from doing so, adding that Nigerians should learn to preserve amenities put in place for their use.
He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the government as everything was done be done to normalize the situation.