Just when Nigerians were groaning over the non-availability of petroleum products, hope seems to be on the horizon.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Friday four oil refineries will resume production in July.
Spokesman Ohi Alegbe said the two refineries in Port Harcout would begin operations after turnaround maintenance, followed by those in Warri and Kaduna.
Alegbe was quick to alert Nigerians over the fact that all the four refineries even at full capacity, cannot meet up with our demand on daily basis.
“Even when the refineries work at full capacity, they can only produce around 19 million litres of petrol per day,” he said.
“There will still be a shortfall of about 21 million litres,” he said, pointing out that Nigeria consumes about 40 million litres of petrol per day.
Nigeria, one of Africa’s top two oil producers, is forced to import most of its petrol products due to its ailing refinery system, which generally runs well below capacity, sometimes at just 20 percent, due to neglect and pipeline sabotage.
Major cities in Nigeria are recovering from a gasoline shortage despite the end of a fuel distribution strike as fuel marketers, who are still not importing due to money owed them, have agreed to distribute fuel brought in by the state oil company, NNPC.
Alegbe said the turnaround maintenance for the four refineries had been ongoing since November.
The NNPC has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt, one in Kaduna and another in Warri, but have been non-functional for some time forcing the country to import petroleum products.