Oil refiners condemn IOCs’ purported sabotage and support Dangote.

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Oil refiners condemn IOCs' purported sabotage and support Dangote.

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Oil refiners condemn IOCs’ purported sabotage and support Dangote.

Crude Oil Refineries Association of Nigeria (CORAN) has backed Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited on its recent allegation that Nigerian oil explorers, especially the International Oil Companies (IOCs), were obstructing the refinery’s operations by refusing to supply crude.

But Lagos-based economist, Kelvin Emmanuel, is blaming the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for Dangote Refinery’s crude supply woes, and other challenges facing Nigeria’s economy.

Also worried by the suspicious fire outbreak at a section of the multi-billion-dollar Dangote Refinery, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Bola Tinubu to order 24-hour impregnable security around the facility. 

The Chairman of CORAN, Momoh Oyarekhua, said Dangote Refineries isone of its members.

According to him, CORAN expressed exactly the same concern like many of its members, who had been facing similar problems.  

Oyarekhua, who spoke on Channels Television, yesterday, explained: “I will take it from the angle of producers of crude rather than focusing on the IOCs alone.  What we usually call IOCs are the international producers, but I do not think it is just about the international producers and operators in Nigeria.

“I think it is more about the producers of crude in Nigeria that are, perhaps, frustrating the refineries from getting crude. We have been on this journey. I, particularly, have been on this journey of advocating for crude sales to local refineries and, where necessary, for the modular refineries in naira.”

He said there had been several engagements with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), stressing that the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should be adhered to.

According to him, the cost of finished products will reduce drastically if local refining is encouraged, instead of importation that does not even meet quality standards.

“We all saw that when Dangote came on stream, diesel dropped from N1,600 to about N1,200. As we speak today, from our refineries, we are even selling less than N1,100. This is to tell you how far producing crude locally can support the economy and the people of Nigeria,” he said.

ON two recent occasions, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had fingered cabals frustrating the full-scale kickoff of his 650,000 barrel per day Lagos-based refinery.

Vice president of the group, Devakumar Edwin, re-echoed this position on June 24, 2024, when he particularly said that IOCs were sabotaging the company by refusing to make crude available to it .

However, in the middle of the debate, Emmanuel the Economist blamed NNPCL for the spat between Dangote Refinery and IOCs.

According to him, NNPCL failed to honour its 300,000 barrels per day in feedstock for the 20 per cent equity contribution of N1.7 billion it owes Dangote Refinery.

He claimed that the IOCs supplied more crude to Dangote Refinery than NNPCL.

“The reality is that since the inception of the refinery, the IOCs have sold more oil to Dangote than NNPCL. If they are selling at a $6 premium to plants, they have to break already forwards to provide spots,” he said.

HURIWA also called on Nigerians to speak out in defence of Dangote Refinery and demand from the Federal Government an elevated security system to safeguard it from being sabotaged.

The rights group alleged that fifth columnists in Abuja were being deployed as agents by the IOCs to sabotage the Refinery, “a national pride and an invaluable heritage that must be protected by all means.”

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, asked Tinubu to order the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the circumstances that occasioned the inferno in a section of the Refinery barely 24 hours that the alarm was raised about an active plot to sabotage its operations. 

“We are, therefore, urging the Federal Government to categorise the Dangote Refinery as a national heritage that must be accorded the highest security cover, so saboteurs and fifth columnists in NNPCL and other petroleum regulatory agencies are not deployed to destroy it.

“Let no harm be allowed to destroy Dangote Refinery. This is our country and we must protect our local businesses and allow them to blossom,” the group added.

HURIWA, which endorsed the sentiments expressed by Dangote Refinery, wondered why the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was backing the IOCs by denying issuing import licences indiscriminately to marketers despite the country’s capacity to refine diesel.

The group called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake immediate investigative action with the aim of safeguarding the corporate interest of Dangote Refinery which is Nigeria’s national pride.

source: guardian.ng

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