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Cautious optimism as Port Harcourt refinery revives


nnpc gmd, Ibe Kachikwu

There is cautious optimism that the fuel situation would yet improve in Nigeria soon.

This follows an announcement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) signalling the resumption of operations at the Port Harcourt Refinery with a daily production of five million litres of petrol.

NNPC bigwigs made this announcement on Tuesday during a monitoring exercise of the fuel supply situation at petrol stations within Abuja and environs.

According to the corporation, the refinery which came back on stream last week now produces up to five million litres of petrol daily.

While stating that it similarly expects the sister Kaduna refinery to also come back on stream next week, the NNPC said it will take advantage of the spring switch in refining activities of European petroleum refiners to stockpile petrol in strategic reserves for Nigeria.

Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Garuba Deen Muhammad and Executive Director Supply and Distribution, Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC), Justine Ezeala, spoke with journalists after the monitoring exercise.

However, a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) detailing the actual average prices at which Nigerians bought petrol in the month of March, surprisingly showed that out of the 36 States, petrol sold at government regulated price of N87 per litre in Borno State alone for the month of March, 2016. The report titled Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price watch revealed that in Lagos state, a litre of petrol sold for N90 while it was an average of N104 in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The report further showed Nassarawa State residents as paying the highest for petrol in the month of March 2016, with the product selling for an average of N166.67 per litre, followed by Cross Rivers and Sokoto states where it sold for N160. 36 and N160 a litre, respectively.

Furthermore, a litre of petrol sold at N146 b, N133.70 N132.09 respectively, at oil rich states of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers as against the official price of N87. Leadership reports that the report which showed that the national average selling price for a litre of petrol aas N135.09 in the month of March, also revealed that the product sold for N114.98 in Ogun and N124.50 a litre in Ondo state.

Similarly, the product sold for N148 a litre in Abia and Akwa Ibom states while it sold for N156.67 in Bauch, N151.67 in Gombe, 139.75 in Kaduna, 143.96 in Imo state, N155 in Ebonyi and 133.50 in Adamawa state.

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