The Federal Government, on Sunday, said the planned deregulation of
the downstream sector of the petroleum industry was to ensure
availability of products to Nigerians.
The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said this in Kaduna
during an inspection tour of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical
Maku said deregulation was the best solution to problems in the sector.
He added that middlemen and other players in the industry had taken
advantage of government's monopoly in the industry to shortchange the
Maku cited sale of kerosene as an example: "unless government
deregulates this sector, middlemen will continue to feed fat on the
sweat of the poor masses.''
He said that deregulation would not only open up the market and give
Nigerian kerosene consumers options to select from but would address
the challenges created by middlemen.
The minister commended the present management of the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its ingenuity in the management of
the nation's refineries.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, said deregulation would promote
efficiency in the oil industry.
He said that the planned partial privatisation of the nation's
refineries was aimed at addressing the perennial problems associated
with the management of the companies by government.
Yakubu said that privatisation would also enable government to channel
resources, previously used for maintenance, to other needs.
The Acting Managing Director of KRPC, Mr Bafred Anjugu, said the
company recorded some milestones in 2013.
He said that the engineers of the KRPC had "re-streamed" the fluid
catalytic cracking unit which had been down since 2005.
Anjugu said the company was refining each of the assorted products per
month and would attain 90 per cent production capacity by the time the
Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) was completed.
The acting managing director said the company would generate about
N1trillion per year from the sale of products after TAM and would also
attain 330 days of operation per annum.
Anjugu said the company's production capacity was presently limited by
the menace of vandalism of pipeline and other peculiar challenges.
The team visited the 56 mega watts power plant in the company as well
as the drum and tin manufacturing factories at the refinery complex.