BudgIT has said Nigeria refineries situation has worsened in the last two years pointing out the urgent need to address the deplorable oil sector in the country.
In a statement sent to WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR), Mr. Shakir Akorede, the Communications Associate, says finding from its policy brief “Inside Nigeria’s Local Refineries” Nigeria’s government-owned refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri incurred a cumulative loss of N32.8 billion in 2017 and N126.2 billion in 2018, making a total loss of N159 billion in the two most recent years alone.
The organisation says an average combined refining capacity utilization of merely 8.27% in 2018; the government-owned refineries are consistently unable to meet local demand, putting Nigeria in a worse situation of importing nearly 91% of locally consumed petrol and significant portions of other refined products used locally.
Mr. Akorede pointed out that, despite given licenses to 44 investors to operate refineries in the country, only one private refinery, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR), has commenced operation.
The organisation has since called on the Nigerian government to deregulate the downstream sector.
It argues, deregulation will encourage investor to go into the oil sector.
He charges the Nigerian government to at least 5% of its annual budget for the ministry of petroleum on research and development, especially concerning optimizing the local refining technology in Nigeria.
He says Nigeria does not need foreign experts to operate crude refining, pointing at Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed-Dabo, a professor at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)-Zaria who has worked together with his team to develop a prototype for local crude oil refining.
Good as the invention is, the Nigerian government and private sector are not giving it the adequate intention it deserves, he said.