• Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

    Fuel crisis: NEITI hopeful Dangote Refinery will serve as national relief


    May 23, 2023

    After years of crisis as a result of perennial disruptions in the supply of petroleum products in the country, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says expectations are high the completion and commissioning of the multibillion dollars Dangote Refinery will usher in an era of national relief to the people. 

    Despite four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna with combined capacity to refine about 445,000 barrels of crude oil for domestic supply of petroleum products, the country has been depending on massive importation to meet the national demand, with attendant high cost of subsidy payment accounting for a significant portion of the country’s over N77 trillion debt burden. 

    In a goodwill message on the occasion of the commissioning of the new refinery by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, described the development as a huge national relief.

    “NEITI as a member of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative with domestic responsibility to enthrone transparency and accountability in the oil gas and mining sectors, is delighted that the Dangote Refinery is coming on stream at a time when public debates on the removal of fuel subsidy have taken a centre stage in public discourse,” Orji said.

    Apart from the huge revenue losses of over N13.7 trillion as contained in NEITI’s Independent extractive industry reports on subsidy payments between 2005 to 2021, Orji said the take-off of Dangote Refinery with 650,000 barrels daily refining capacity would largely address Nigeria’s domestic demands for refined petroleum products within the short and medium term as well as help check capital flight and other numerous challenges over fuel importation in the country. 

    “NEITI salutes the determination, courage and the huge confidence demonstrated by Alhaji Dangote in the huge investments in the downstream sector which will address the issues of petroleum product availability, job opportunities and value creation,” the NEITI chief said. 

    The Executive Secretary said the popular projections were that the Dangote refinery would end the era of fuel importation in the country and subsequently help save over $7.3Billion projected to be spent on fuel subsidy in the first half of the year 2023.

     Orji said NEITI expects the Dangote refinery to fully comply with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) principles which Nigeria is a signatory.

    As a major player in the oil and gas industry, he said NEITI would soon commence engagements with the Dangote Refinery on the specific issues around the 20 percent equity interest acquired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the Refinery on behalf of the Federation.

    Orji advised the Conglomerate to distance itself from a monopolistic business model and embrace corporate social responsibility, openness and accountability, to allow for civic engagement and free enterprise in its operations.

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