‘Nigeria only OPEC member that imports 95% of refined petroleum for domestic use’


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Nigeria is the only member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that imports 90 to 95 per cent of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic consumption, the People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) has observed.

TPAP-M while addressing journalists during the weekend, said most other OPEC member countries depend on less than 20% imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs.

Comrade Jaye Gaskiya from the TPAP-M Secretariat, while addressing journalists, said subsidy exists because of the price differential between the landing cost of imported fuel and the pump price of fuel. He said the differential exists because Nigeria is totally dependent as a country on imported refined petroleum products.

He said the reason given by the government and previous administrations is the narrative around the price of fuel being much cheaper in Nigeria than in neighbouring countries, due to subsidy, and that this encourages fuel smuggling across the borders.

“Nigeria is the only OPEC member country that imports more than 90 to 95%of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic consumption. For other OPEC member countries, the reverse is the case – virtually every other OPEC member country meets their domestic needs for refined petroleum products through domestic refining.

“Consequently most other OPEC member countries depend on less than 20% imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs.

Gaskiya said this government even suggests that the scale of smuggling has increased so much that it now hovers around 50 million litres per day.

He said in January 2012, the GEJ administration unconscionably hiked fuel prices in the name of removing fuel subsidy which led to the uprising, also known as Occupy Nigeria, where for more than two weeks, there were mass protests across more than 55 cities and a mass general workers strike that lasted a week and paralyzed the economy.

“Recall that the exact same reasons pushed ten years ago by the Jonathan administration, are still being pushed by the current Buhari administration as justifications for the fuel price hike.

“Is it that in ten solid years, nothing has changed? And that despite removing the so-called subsidy in 2012, and in 2016, there is still a subsidy to be removed in 2022.

“For as long as we continue to be totally dependent as a country on imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs; for as long as our moribund refineries continue to be comatose, and we continue to lack any significant domestic refining capacity; for so long shall we continue to be faced with the problem of hiking fuel price in order to be able to cover landing cost of imported fuel, which is itself also negatively impacted by the deterioration in the value of the Naira against the Dollar”, he noted.

The Comrade said in the ten years since the January Uprising (Occupy Nigeria) of 2012, the four public refineries have remained moribund, while no new public refineries have been built; And this is in spite of the fact that more than $9.5bn have been spent on the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of these moribund refineries since then.

“In addition to the over $9.5bn wasted over TAMs since 2012, over the last six years (since 2015), additional $6bn ($2.7bn in Dangote refinery, and more than $3bn in so-called Greenwich refineries program) have been invested in private sector refinery projects by the Federal Government, using public resources, and with nothing to show for it.

“Only recently, a further $1.5bn was appropriated by NASS for the repair of the PH refinery complex; and again with nothing to show for it.

“Yet despite all of these investments totaling approximately $17bn in the refinery sector since 2012, we still as a nation cannot boast of any domestic refining capacity, we still do not have any functional domestic refinery – public or private, and we are still more than 95% dependent on imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs”.

The group expressed worry that despite all these failures, no one has been held accountable for this monumental theft of public wealth and sabotage of the economy – either managerially or politically.

In its demand, the group said it rejects in its totality the hike in the price of Gas, and the impending hikes in the price of fuel and electricity tariff.

“We insist that Nigerians cannot and must not be punished for the failures and incompetence of the ruling class and this regime in ensuring access to affordable energy and adequate security and protection.

“We demand that past and present management of the NNPC and the four moribund refineries should be indicted, prosecuted and brought to book for the crass incompetence that has resulted into the failure since 2012, at least, to turn around the fortunes of the refineries and make them work at optimum capacity, thus contributing significantly to Nigeria’s inability to acquire adequate domestic refining capacity.

“We demand that all political office holders who have had responsibility for over-sighting – in executive or legislative capacity, the petroleum sector should be investigated, indicted, and prosecuted,” Comrade Gaskiya said.

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