Cartels Behind Nigeria's Continued Oil Imports
Abuja (THEWILL) - Nigeria’s continued importation of petrol (PMS) and other petroleum products has been traced to various interests in the past and present administrations, and some senior executives in the state’s Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and PPMC who have made a fortune from awarding contracts for fuel imports.
Our checks show that the country’s four refineries have not operated at full capacity since the late 80’s due to corruption, sabotage and poor management. Our source in the petroleum department revealed that funds earmarked for maintenance of the refineries were deliberately misappropriated by the big guns at the corporation to ensure the refineries fail. “The trick is to keep the refineries down by every means possible, so that they can make money from awarding contracts to import petrol” he said.
Nigeria, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has four refineries, three in the Niger Delta cities of Port Harcourt and Warri, while the fourth is in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. These refineries have a total refining capacity of 445, 000 barrels per day if fully operational. As at the time of filling this report, only the refineries in Port Harcourt are running with a capacity to refine 210,000 bpd of crude. Warri and Kaduna plants are currently shut-in due to repairs at the Chanomi Creek pipeline.
Our investigations further revealed that the biggest beneficiaries of petroleum imports contract from the various Nigerian administrations since the early 90’s till date are Trafigura Group, Glencore, Vitol Holding VB and Gunvor, which is reportedly linked to Russian Prime Minister, Putin. According to the source, Vitol’s operation in Nigeria represents the interest of General Aliyu Muhammed Gusau, a former security intelligence chief.
“The fact is that, whether the refineries operate at full capacity or not, these guys will continue to feed fat from the proceeds they get from awarding contracts to import petrol. It is a systemic structure that was put in place since the IBB time to ensure they continue to award these contracts to their interests and friends”.
Nigeria, The world’s 8th largest producer of crude has spent over $1 billion on repairs and maintenance of it’s refineries since 1999, and has not recorded any significant improvements in it’s local refining capacity. The state depends on massive importation of PMS to sustain local demand and has lost billions of dollars in the process.
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