The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed hope that it will be able to refine 50 percent of petrol consumed in Nigeria by 2018.
The corporation said it hopes to achieve this by improving the refining capacity of its refineries by 80 percent that year.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru stated this when he was visited by a team from Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust Newspapers, led by its Chairman, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf,
A statement by NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu said the corporation has commenced moves to reduce products importation by boosting the capacity utilization of the refineries to 60 per cent by the end of this year.
Dr Baru, according to the statement, explained that NNPC was keen on ending product importation in a few years and that a concrete plan was on ground to achieve that.
“We are putting together various programmes to ensure that we achieve at least 60 percent local refining by the end of this year. It is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries.
“We hope if we do all these systematically, we should be able to get about 60 per cent level of capacity utilization by the end of this year or at worst by the first quarter of 2018 and get to 80 percent by the end of 2018 so that we could locally be able to supply half of our PMS requirements.
“Also, with other efforts in terms of other refineries coming in place, we should be able to quit importation in a few years,” the GMD stated.
Dr Baru lauded the management of Media Trust Limited for its factual reportage of the corporation’s activities and operations.
He urged the media to help in enlightening the public on the dangers of pipeline vandalism which he said has become a drain on the nation’s economy.
On its part, Media Trust commended the NNPC for excellent performance in discharging its fiduciary responsibilities.