The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said it has received bids from nine companies for co-location of refineries, a move that will see an increase in the nation’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day to 650,000.
This is as the minister of State for Petroleum Resources and group managing director of NNPC, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, waded into the lingering crises within the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), in a move to end the persistent fuel scarcity in the country.
The minister who invited all stakeholders within the IPMAN hierarchy to his office in Abuja, yesterday raised a 14-man committee charged with the task of doing everything possible “to bring back peace to the association at the national, zonal and depot levels.”
He noted that as critical stakeholders in the downstream sector, the contribution of IPMAN is crucial in the drive to end the prevailing fuel supply situation across the nation.
The minister, who called on all members to see IPMAN as one indivisible entity, also charged them to work with relevant government agencies such as the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other stakeholders to ensure that the prevailing fuel scarcity becomes a thing of the past as quickly as possible.
Speaking shortly after the deliberations, the National Secretary of IPMAN, Danladi Pasali, expressed their readiness to assist the Federal Government towards bringing a lasting solution to the fuel crisis within the next two weeks as stated by Kachikwu during a recent meeting with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream.
The 14-man reconciliation committee set up by the Minister has Prince Dunuje as Chairman, Engr. Lawson Ngoa as Secretary and Danladi Pasali, Barr. Dibu Aderigbe, Abubakar Maigandi and Hemmed Fashola as member.
Meanwhile, the NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Refineries, Anibo Kragha, who stated the Corporations commitment to ending fuel queues during the opening of the technical bid for the location of new refineries within the existing refineries in the country, said the open bidding exercise was a demonstration of the determination of the federal government to increase the nation’s refining capacity to 650,000.
“The aim is to leverage on the existing facilities to fast track the take-off of the refineries as soon as possible,” he noted, adding that a technical evaluation committee has been set up to study the bids and announce winners as soon as possible.
Speaking earlier, the corporation’s general manager, Supply Chain Management, Sophia Mbakwe enjoined all the companies to accept the outcome as the exercise would be transparent.