The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has inaugurated eight committees charged with returning the nation's three refineries to their nameplate capacities by the year 2019.
A statement by Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC spokesperson, said the move was in line with the presidential mandate of rehabilitating the nation's three refineries.
The statement noted that the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Maikanti Baru, charged the committees to deploy "out of the box solutions" to ensure that the refineries return to their good old days of top class performance.
"I am convinced that the teams we have selected here today will give the necessary direction towards returning the refineries back to their optimal levels of performance," Mr. Baru said.
The GMD explained that in executing the assignment, the committees were expected to deliver well and within schedule as according to him, time was of the essence. He noted further that although the target for the refineries rehab was to return them to 90 per cent capacity utilisation before the end of 2019, but with more commitment from the committees, 100 per cent capacity utilisation was achievable.
"We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100 per cent capacity as this was the only way to ensure profitability," Mr. Baru stated, adding that "we can fix the refineries but without the right people to operate them, they would go back to where they were or even worse."
In his remarks, the Chief Operating Officer Refineries and Petrochemicals, Anibor Kragha, informed that the 2019 target was the first time in 20 years that there was both the political will and the economic climate to ensure effective retrofitting of the refineries.
He further said that over 28 Expressions of Interest had been received so far for the financing of the rehabilitation project and that the goal was to get more by the end of the year.
"Payment is therefore hinged on performance, ensuring a win-win situation for Nigeria", Mr. Kragha said.