The Imperative Of Stopping Nigeria’s Annual Loss Of At Least One Trillion Naira (N1Tr) To OPA And Swap Due To Sub-Optimal Refineries’ Operations

  Attention: Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and Engr. Andrew Yakubu
It is extremely disturbing to read the first response of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to #BringBackOurRefineries. The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Engineer Andrew Yakubu, in his piece titled ‘We Use Nigerian Engineers to Rehabilitate Refineries’ posted on Wednesday 9th July 2014, claimed that two Nigerian refineries are presently operational. What falsehood! The truth which all Nigerians deserve to know is that at the time of the posting of Engr. Yakubu’s piece on Daily Newswatch Nigeria, no Nigerian refinery was operational.
Only Warri was minimally operational with only one unit, the CPU; while all its other units were down. Why was the GMD trying to deceive Nigerians? The answer is simple: The GMD was trying to hide from Nigerians the fact that, apart from other economic losses, Nigeria loses at least One Trillion Naira (N1tr) annually to Offshore Processing Agreements (OPA) and Crude for Products Swap (SWAP) Arrangements activated by the failure of our refineries to work optimally.
The annual loss of at least N1tr to OPA and SWAP is enough argument for the NNPC and its supervising Ministry of Petroleum Resources to repair Nigeria’s four refineries. While one fully realizes that this patriotic argument is utterly meaningless to those benefitting from this annual loss of at least N1tr, yet one is just unable to stomach such a disheartening nonsense. If this N1tr were available to the Nigerian economy, President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda could RAPIDLY do the following:
a. Equip and motivate Nigeria’s Defense Forces to tackle are resolve the scourge of terrorism presently blighting the nation.
b. Stabilize ASUU, ASUP and the entire national tertiary education system.
c. Engineer tangible upgrades in the nation’s basic/secondary education systems.
d. Capitalize one hundred thousand youth entrepreneurship ventures with a Million Naira each at total cost of N100b only.
e. Activate a national alternative energy programme with an eye on future realities.
We again plead with Diezani and Yakubu: PLEASE stop all unpatriotic, defiant and wilful refusals to repair our Refineries! PLEASE operationalize our Refineries to at least function at 70% of installed capacity before reactivating the argument as to whether they should be privatized/commercialized or not. PLEASE #BringBackOurRefineries!
Solomon Ben Olonade Esq.
Legal Practitioner & Development Strategist