No fewer than 22 vessels laden with petroleum products are expected to berth at Lagos ports this week to boost fuel supply.
The products, including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol, Automated Gas Oil (AGO) known as diesel, Jet A1 (Aviation fuel) and base oil are in 32 cargoes.
Statistics released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday showed that some of the vessels would arrive today and tomorrow.
Other products expected in the country through Lagos ports include fish, fertiliser, salt, sugar, wheat, steel products and general cargo.
The NPA statistics revealed that six of the fuel-laden ships had been waiting to berth at the ports, but were yet to be cleared due to CRNAPP (Customs Release is Not yet Applicable).
However, fertiliser, urea and fish vessels are also awaiting berth at Lagos pilotage district.
The data showed that the products are in the range of 35,000MT (metric tonnes) to 38,000MT.
According to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, Nigeria is the only country in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that imports petrol and the largest importer of PMS in the world
His words: “As we speak today, Nigeria is the only OPEC country that imports petrol.
We are the largest importer of PMS in the world; we actually import one million tonnes of PMS every month into a country that produces oil and gas and has refinery. It is a shameful thing.
It doesn’t make sense and that is what we are trying to address,” he said.
He added that the refineries had not been operating optimally, but that the NNPC was working to address the challenges with investors who would bring in funding for the repair of the plants.
“Upgrades of our refineries from the current name plate capacity of 445,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) to at least one million bpd is the focus.
Discussions with relevant investors and financiers are ongoing.
The expectation is that the refineries will be fully back on stream by December 2019.”
Facts and figures released by NNPC for July showed that the nation’s crude oil production stood at 1.96 million bpd with distribution of about 51 million litres of petrol during the month. About 13.2 million litres of diesel were distributed while 1.8 million litres of kerosene, 2.35 million litres of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) and 0.46 million litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) were distributed.