NNPC denies plot to frustrate elections, awards Kaduna Refinery contract
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), yesterday, denied plan to frustrate the general elections through induced scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The oil company also awarded contract for maintenance services at the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd (KRPC) to Daewoo Engineering and Construction Nigeria Ltd, describing the project as quick-fix repairs.
Nigeria has been facing fuel shortage for over six months as capacity utilisation of the country’s refineries is currently at zero level.
Amid concern by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on impact of the scarcity on the election, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, had also accused the oil company of attempting to frustrate the poll.
But NNPC’s Group Chief Executive, Mele Kyari, described the accusation as baseless.
“I think it is very good also to say that no matter what you do, once there is an arbitrage environment, some people will take advantage of it. And it is very contrary. We all respect the comments. I don’t think anybody sat down and orchestrated that there should be scarcity, so that it will impact the election. I don’t think anyone did this. If it is, we will know,” Kyari explained on the government-owned NTA station.
He said reality is that glitches started well early in 2022. “It has nothing to do with this election period. Once you have a challenge of this nature, it is a cyclic thing and they will continue to come up. And then once you have arbitrage issues, you will have a glitch.
“Today, let me just put it clearly, our redundancy, in terms of petroleum product supply, is just three days in this country. When you have a glitch that extends longer than three days, you will need another three weeks to stabilise,” Kyari said.
He noted that maintenance of the refinery marks a milestone in the history of the facility, considering that the last Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) on the refinery occurred about 15 years ago.
He said the project was framed after extensive engagement with Daewoo on a quick-fix strategy to repair and re-stream KRPC and operate it on a sustainable basis, at a minimum capacity utilisation of 60 per cent.
He added: “This project shall be executed in three work packages as a maintenance services contract by Daewoo Engineering Nigeria Limited at an estimated maximum cost ceiling of $740,669,600.00, with a duration of 21 months.
“The quick-fix strategy guarantees the fastest route to re-streaming WRPC and KRPC for in-country production of refined petroleum products.”