Latest figures in the financial and operations report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have shown that the imports of Premium Motor Spirit (or petrol) by the NNPC rose by 100 million litres following the dormancy of Nigeria’s refineries to refine crude.
The report on petroleum product supply through NNPC’s Direct Sales Direct Purchase scheme ,DSDP, showed that PMS imports in January 2021 rose by 100 million litres when compared to what was imported in December 2020.
In explaining the DSDP, the oil firm stated that in compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007 and NNPC’s Policy and Procedures, it had to engage qualified and credible companies in a Direct Sale of crude oil and Direct Purchase of petroleum product to ensure sustained product supply across the country.
According to the report the NNPC said it imported 1.68 billion litres of petrol through the DSDP, while 1.58 billion litres PMS was imported in the preceding month.
Under the section of petroleum products supply from domestic refineries, the oil firm stated that the facilities were dormant in terms of crude oil refining and that this had stretched for over a year.
“No white product (PMS and Dual Purpose Kerosene) was produced in January 2021 and apparently for the past 12 consecutive months. The lack of production is due to ongoing rehabilitation works at the refineries,” the NNPC stated.
Officials of both the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers in interviews with the media had said that continued import of petrol by the NNPC was at the detriment of Nigeria’s refineries.
They had argued that the government should fix Nigeria’s refineries and stop importing petrol into the country, as this would help halt petrol subsidy and save funds for the country.
The General Secretary, NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, said the union had repeatedly told government that the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry was the way to go, but this must not be based on petroleum product imports.
“Deregulation is desirable in the downstream sector but we cannot deregulate within the context of importation. We have always been saying that domestic production is the way to go,” he stated.