Nigeria’s petroleum industry is the largest in Africa with proven oil and gas reserves of 37 billion barrels and 192 trillion cubic feet respectively. One would be forgiven for thinking Nigerians swim in petrol but no, that is simply not the case.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria has a maximum crude oil production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day and has traditionally ranked as Africa’s largest producer and sixth largest in the world.
(However, in 2017, Angola was largest producer in Afric.) Nigeria’s petroleum industry is the largest in Africa with proven oil and gas reserves of 37 billion barrels and 192 trillion cubic feet respectively. One would be forgiven for thinking Nigerians swim in petrol but no, that is simply not the case.
Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently revealed that Nigeria is the only member country in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries that imports petrol and is currently the largest importer of Premium Motor Spirit. The reason is that refineries are not working to their fullest capacity.
Baru added that, “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.” Indeed it is shameful that a resource rich country like Nigeria would be importing the products of its resources yet that is the truth of most African countries. Countries are (willingly) being reduced to extraction grounds and markets for products they should be selling.
Nigeria says it is engaging investors and other stakeholders to upgrade refineries from the current plate capacity of 445,000 barrels of crude oil per day to at least a million. Why this is being done in 2018 is a wonder but at least they are making a move.