3 Reasons Fuel Scarcity Has Persisted
Long queues of desperate motorists and other users of Premium Motor Spirit have returned to many filling stations in Lagos
The problem is not a creation by witches from outer space, but an entirely Nigerian problem made in Nigeria by Nigerians.
Here are some of the reasons why fuel scarcity has remained the bane of every government over the last decade.
The NNPC allocates 445,000 barrels of crude oil daily for domestic refining.
If the four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, in their present state, are functioning optimally, total products yield cannot be more than about 10 to 12 million litres.
Even at full capacity, the supply from those refineries will still be far from sufficient to take care of at least 50 per cent of the 45-60 million litres the NNPC says we consume daily.
Despite the huge amount of money spent by government over the years on turnaround maintenance, it seems to have been foolishly waste or cunningly stolen.
Fuel scarcity is usually a result of limited or inadequate stock of products not replenished on time. But, how do you replenish the stock when nobody knows exactly what the country’s demand is?
From the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, to the Department of Petroleum Resources, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, no one can say categorically what the daily national fuel consumption figure is.
The statistics are as varied as the purpose for which each agency is issuing them.
If crude oil is lacking because the pipelines are repeatedly attacked by vandals, there is no magic anybody can perform to guarantee sufficient products supply to consumers.
The result would be scarcity and more fuel crisis.
The NNPC says its biggest headache in its bid to find lasting solution to the fuel crisis over the years has been how to deal with pipeline vandals.
The corporation says over the last decade, it has reported a total of 16,083 pipeline breaks in different locations in the country, with ruptures accounting for 398 pipeline breaks, while 15,685 breaks were due to the activities of vandals.
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