The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced moves to reduce fuel import by boosting the capacity utilization of the refineries to 60 per cent by the end of 2017.
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, during a courtesy call on him by the Board and Management of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust Newspapers, led by its Chairman, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf.
Briefing the Daily Trust delegation, Dr Baru explained that NNPC was keen on ending product importation in a few years and that a concrete plan was on ground to achieve that.
“We are putting together various programmes to ensure that we achieve at least 60% local refining by the end of this year. It is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries.
“We hope if we do all these systematically, we should be able to get about 60 per cent level of capacity utilization by the end of this year or at worst by the first quarter of 2018 and get to 80% by the end of 2018 so that we could locally be able to supply half of our PMS requirements.
“Also, with other efforts in terms of other refineries coming in place, we should be able to quit importation in a few years,” the GMD stated.
Dr Baru lauded the management of Media Trust Limited for its factual reportage of the corporation’s activities and operations.
“You have remained a leading voice in the fight against unwholesome activities of crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and sabotage of the nation’s oil and gas installations. We will like to see this gesture continue,” he stated.
He urged the media to help in enlightening the public on the dangers of pipeline vandalism which he said has become a drain on the nation’s economy.
On its part, Media Trust commended the NNPC for excellent performance in discharging its fiduciary responsibilities.
The Chairman said the management of NNPC under Dr Baru deserved accolades for the good works it was doing for the country.
“We are here as stakeholders in the media and the economy to say that we appreciate the work you are doing and to also have the opportunity to have more insight into these works and to communicate it to the public,” Malam Yusuf said.