• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Deregulation: Nigeria fuel consumption down by 30% -Kachikwu

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Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum and outgoing group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said Nigeria’s fuel consumption has dropped by 30 percent following the partial deregulation of the downstream sector in May, 2016.

As a fall out, he explained that there has been no fuel queues at filling stations in addition to having in stock one and half months of self sufficiency in strategic reserves.

Kachikwu was speaking in Abuja on Friday while handing over to Maikanti Baru, the newly appointed GMD of the NNPC during which he pledged to support him to succeed.

“Today our consumption of fuel has gone down by 30 per cent, we have no queues in the filling stations, we have one and half months of self sufficiency, we have strategic reserves in place that we are putting together and we have a funding scheme to enable the downstream to be able to adequately fund itself”, he said.

“I am happy to announce that in our May results, for the first time in the history of this company, the NNPC made a profit of N270m”, he said.

On the efforts to curb attacks on oil installations, the minister stated that Nigeria was currently producing 1.9 million barrels adding that talks with the militants were ongoing.

“We are working on it and I need to meet with Mr. President for I just returned from China and obviously there’s a lot more engagement that is required. There are gaps that seem to have developed and I need to understand what issues warranted that. But we will work towards closing those gaps.”

On when the Forcados will come back on stream, he suggested July ending.

Speaking on his achievements as the GMD, he outlined the massive restructuring at the NNPC which according to him has set out various parameters of the business profit focused entities on their own, in the process being able to identify between 19 and 22 companies that have basically grown.

He also explained that working with finance, he was able to cut operational cost close to about 30 per cent, which was one of the first things his team did and it saved a lot of money for the group.

“We undertook deregulation at the time nobody thought it was possible and if there’s anything we leave for this industry, it must be the legacy of that deregulation”, Kachikwu noted.

In respect to subsidy removal, he said the nation would be saving over N1.4tn on a yearly basis.

According to him, efforts to reposition the refineries, are still ongoing commenced inspire of the challenges but he informed that work in that regard has reached to a point where the three refineries are working for the first time in about 10 years, even as it is not yet at the capacity that is expected.

I have already made a commitment that by 2018, 60 per cent of refined products importation will stop and by 2019 we must become a net exporter of refined petroleum products, Kachikwu noted.