The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is presently working on a medium-term reduction of the pump price of petroleum products.
This move, he noted, will include ensuring that private refineries work and by so doing reduce the importation of refined petroleum product.
Speaking with Bloomberg, he noted that Nigeria is “unbundling the NNPC so that its various components are effective core centres and are able to do their business well.”
“In the refining area, we know that at the moment, we have quite a few, about two of the refineries are getting back up. Using those refineries, we have seen the inefficiencies already; we’ve seen the cost.
“You can refine at 60 percent capacity, but if it costs 20% more than it would cost you elsewhere, perhaps a private refinery, then you know that there’s a problem.”
Osinbajo disclosed that government was going to reduce the role of the NNPC to its main objective of regulating the sector and ensure a reduction of pump price of petroleum products.
“We are going to have private refineries at the site of the old refineries, so they can benefit from the available infrastructure.
“We think that in the medium term, we would be able to get cheaper pump price, pump price of oil would be cheaper because we would be importing far less fine petroleum. A lot of that would be produced locally.
“Now, we have well over 30 modular refineries, so we think a lot of modular refineries would come. Many of them, their major concern is feed stock, are we going to be guaranteed feed stock?
“We are working on that. Once we are able to deal with that, we think that we would be able to reduce pump price and get the whole business of importation of refined petroleum and the NNPC getting directly involved; we are going to reduce that.
“The ultimate objective of course is to have NNPC regulatory, playing a more regulatory function as the private sector takes most of the downstream,” he told the publication.