The situation at the petrol stations does not seem solvable anytime soon as the NNPC chief mentioned.
Declaring the two-day forum open in Lagos, Dr Barkindo stated that the NNPC as a national oil company must take the lead to address this challenge in a holistic manner.
“We cannot continue to sing the same song of excuses. This is embarrassing not only to us as managers of the industry but to all other Nigerians as well. This is a practical forum where we are only interested in practical and innovative solutions to the challenge we face,’’ he said.
The GMD stated that it was in recognition of the fact that the NNPC does not have a monopoly to the solutions that it was willing to carry all other stakeholders along in its drive to find a lasting antidote to the fuel nuisance.
“In going into a deregulated environment the downstream sector must get its act together to face these issues. Deregulation itself is not likely to solve all these challenges over night. Therefore the sector must get together in this type of forum in an open and frank manner to present their own perspective on the current state of the industry and the way forward,” Barkindo said.
Rising up to the challenge, Austen Oniwon, Group Executive Director Refining and Petro-Chemicals informed that the directorate was already putting finishing touches to a novel idea of using vessels and sea crafts to convey crude oil from production rigs and platforms nearest to the refineries.
Engineer Oniwon said the idea is to reduce the dependence on pipelines in the movement of crude to refineries due to incessant attacks.
For so long the vital Chanomi Creek pipeline conveying crude from Escravos to Warri and Kaduna Refineries has been the butt of militant attacks aimed at crippling the fuel supply situation in the country.
He stated that the plan which is on the verge of leaving the drawing board will go a long way in solving the problem of providing stock feed to the refineries.
Deliberations at the Wednesday’s session received an extra fillip with the appearance of Dr. Chamberlain Oyibo former Group Managing Director of the NNPC who threw his weight behind the forum and the move to get the refineries working.
“It is a good thing that NNPC is organising a forum like this and it is equally great that participants are encouraged to think outside the box because we must do that if we really want to make NNPC survive,” Oyibo said.
He also endorsed the idea of using vessels to convey crude to refineries saying that it is will make the refineries to work.
The NNPC Stakeholders’ Forum comes to a climax today (Thursday) with contributions from other stakeholders in the downstream sector like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, (DAPPMA), Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army, and other security agencies as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other operators in the banking sector.
A communiqué is expected to be issued by the NNPC and all stakeholders followed by a Press Conference to be addressed by the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman.