The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that its three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna now supply 60 per cent of Dual Purpose Kerosene consumed in the country.
The NNPC said in a statement on Sunday that this was far in advance to the 2019 target for the cessation of petroleum products importation by the Federal Government.
Maikanti Baru, group managing drector of the NNPC, stated this at a two-day investigative public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
He said the corporation’s refineries were manufacturing five million litres of kerosene on a daily basis, representing more than 60 per cent of the national daily consumption requirement of eight million litres.
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Baru, who was represented by Henry Ikem-Obih, chief operating officer in charge of downstream business, disclosed that the private petroleum products marketers imported the balance of three million litres of the product.
He also noted that kerosene and other petroleum products supplied by the corporation were of high quality and met safety standards.
“The NNPC guarantees that the entire refineries output in Nigeria through its refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, and any products imported by it to make up for market supply-shortfalls meet the specifications of the Nigerian Institute of Standard and Standard Organisations of Nigeria,” Baru said.
He further explained that the NNPC had no plan to compromise safety and quality in its product and processes, adding that all the depots in the country had laboratories for quality checks to ensure safety of consumers.
Baru stressed that in keeping with its positively stated commitment to the safety of consumers, the corporation investigated the recent incident of kerosene explosion in Calabar and could not trace the truckthat delivered the adulterated product in any of the depot loading schedule.
The GMD also advised that there would be need for the committee to contact the department of petroleum resources (DPR), which is the petroleum industry regulator to investigate the source of the adulterated kerosene among the private depots.
He beckoned on relevant authorities to empower the DPR to carryout its responsibilities more diligently, ensuring petroleum products imported by marketers meet the required quality and safety standards as NNPCcannot guarantee the quality of products imported by other market players.
He said, “The quality of kerosene being sold to the general public required regular inspection to ensure that it meets health, safety, environment and quality standards at all times to avert regulatory breaches or threat to lives and properties of the general public and consumers of the products.”
Speaking earlier, Joseph Akinlaja, chairman of the committee, said that due to adulteration, which has translated to the high cost of kerosene in the market as well as incessant explosion; the committee has been deeply concerned.
Alakija said that the committee was mandated by the House of Representatives to, among other things, work out a clear cut policy framework on kerosene to avert the current challenges faced by the poor masses in procuring the product; arrest the resurgence of kerosene explosion with attendant fatalities and investigate the disappearance of N11bn worth of petroleum product belonging to the NNPC.