NNPC reassures of products sufficiency amid reports of scarcity

Mele Kyari

. As Kyari worries about funding challenges for hydrocarbon projects

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has charged consumers against panic-buying, and reassured of adequate products following reports of the resurgence of queues in some parts of the country.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, gave the assurance yesterday, at an energy conference organised by journalists, themed: “Petroleum Industry Act: Energy Transition and the Future of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas.”

Kyari said NNPC’s objective is to provide energy security for Nigerians and ensure availability of petroleum products across the country. “As we speak now, there is speculation of fuel scarcity within the media but we have over 1.7 billion litres of premium motor spirit in the country.

“We have another 2.3 billion litres coming in so there is no shortage in supply as being speculated. Of course, there are issues about pricing at some depots but government has no plan to revise the pricing structure.”

Energy transition

Kyari, who joined the conference virtually from the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC’s) Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, however, highlighted the challenges faced by Nigeria and other African countries in the global energy transition.

This is even as he expressed concern over financial institutions’ growing apathy to funding hydrocarbon projects in Nigeria, ahead of the 2050 dateline for energy transition to cleaner and renewable energies to stave off global warming.

He said: “The banks, the financial sector, have been very reluctant in financing fossil fuel and energy transition for Nigeria for obvious reasons. Despite this, we will do everything possible to join the energy transition change.”

He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari at COP26, had demanded for energy justice for Africa from the world leaders, and the need to exploit the available resources as a pathway to attaining the net-zero carbon objectives by 2050.

He noted that Nigeria is still energy deficient, and lacked the requisite infrastructure for the energy evolution, saying: “As a country, we are energy deficient as you can see in electricity. We still clearly generate less than our demand.

“For us today in Nigeria, we do not have those resources for that switch-over to cleaner energy presently. Mr. President is so desirous of the switch-over to cleaner alternative energy; he has demanded from us energy justice to all.

“In this regard, backbone infrastructure project OB3 is still ongoing. The expansion and completion of the project are to be within the specified period of 24 months.”

Kyari noted that although Africa accounted for only about 3% of the global carbon emission, the continent still had the responsibility to join the world in combating climate change.

The banks, the financial sector, have been very reluctant in financing fossil fuel and energy transition for Nigeria for obvious reasons. Despite this, we will do everything possible to join the energy transition change.

Infrastructure development

According to him, Nigeria has identified its abundant gas resources as its fuel for energy transition, which informed the declaration of the Year 2021 to Year 2030 as the Decade of Gas by the Federal Government.

Kyari continued: “We are making good progress in terms of the implementation of the PIA, which is clearly creating the path for transition.

“There is no way we can achieve this feat without adequate infrastructure to transport the resources to where it will be used and that is why we are investing in massive gas infrastructure.”

He identified such projects to include the Obiafu-Obrikon-Oben (OB3), and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipelines, which would deepen gas utilisation in Nigeria.

Also, speaking, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said the passage of the PIA had opened a vista of opportunities for the industry.

Wabote, represented by the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Tunde Adelana, said the implementation of the Act would impact positively on local content development and host communities, and also stimulate the much-needed investment in the petroleum industry.

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