The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, has bemoaned the non-functional state of refineries in the country, describing it as a shame on the country.
Kyari also expressed sadness with Nigeria's position as a net importer of petroleum products.
He made the remarks in Lagos yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition (SPE NAICE), with the theme: "Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobile Technology: Changing the Future of the Energy Industry."
He said: "Today, NNPC is challenged by the reality of our environment. Because our refineries are not operating optimally and today not at all, we become net importer of petroleum products; it is a very big shame for us as a nation, and as professionals, we can give you any excuse whether you are a chemical engineer or petroleum engineer, or scientists, whatever we are, today, it is a shame that this nation is a net importer of petroleum products and we are going to change that.
"And we want to do it in two ways. One is that, NNPC will get its acts together; we will fix refineries, and there are other initiatives. Of course, there are other small interventions to support modular refineries that people are trying to fix; that we will work with the Permanent Secretary to make sure we fix it. We know why they are not doing it; the reason is very simple: everyone wants to know his transfer price in the date of the refinery, so we will fix that so that there is clarity of the proceeds of production."
Kyari, who noted that the country had been unwilling to invest in its oil and gas industry due to many reasons, further bemoaned the inability of Nigeria to pursue gas-to-industry, gas-to-power initiatives.
He said another shame was that as a country with about 197 trillion cubic feet of gas, Nigeria had no power plants to run with the abundant gas resources, assuring that rather than continue lamenting, the corporation would move to put the gas resources into the domestic market.
"As many of my colleagues have pointed out without being specific, gas to industry, gas to power initiative, we will keep talking about it," he said, adding: "We are unable to deliver gas to domestic market as an industry for many reasons."
He said the major problem was that Nigeria was just not willing to invest because it was not sure of the basis of the investment, which he explained crystalised with the issues of pricing.