The federal government has said it would review the operational efficiency of all the mega floating petrol stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) within the waterways of the Niger Delta region.
It said that within its recently launched ‘7 big wins’ policy direction, it plans to establish efficient modular refineries in the region, and as such would also ensure that products from the refineries are efficiently distributed across the region.
According to Brenda Ataga, the Senior Technical Adviser on Downstream and Infrastructure to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the plan would help the government ensure regular availability of petrol to riverine residents of the region, and also eliminate instances of illegal and dangerous refining of petrol for use by them.
Ataga said this in response to a question asked about the functionalities of the floating stations during a media briefing at the corporate headquarters of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in Abuja.
She said: “The government has initiated a 7 big wins policy, and that will enhance the refining capacity of the country through the modular refineries that would be set up in the region. A total plan is being looked at for the distribution of products from these refineries and that would include the floating stations.”
Currently, the NNPC reportedly has 12 floating petrol stations in the Niger Delta, managed by its subsidiary – the NNPC Retail.
The stations which were constructed in 2005 at an individual cost the corporation put then at N700 million, have however reportedly remained unproductive and unusable to riverine residents of the region.
Also at a time in the past, the NNPC claimed that the floating station in Nembe, Calabar, Nkang and Ibaka were fully operational with products available in them.
However, without giving deeper details of what the review in the ‘7-big wins’ would entail, Ataga, noted that there would have to be a product distribution mechanism in the region to cut short the distance they travel to access healthy refined products.
Under the ‘7-big wins,’ the federal government plans to restore the countries local refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt to produce at their optimum levels, and subsequently reposition Nigeria from a net importer of refined petrol products to a net exporter by 2019.
It equally wants to set up co-located refineries and modular refineries to guarantee effective supply and distribution of products across the country, while attracting private sector investments and joint venture partners to boost operations in the mid and downstream oil sectors of the country.
Source: This Day