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I and others, the worm eating up Nigeria

by Business News Report

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, who once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” Great men that walked on this planet earth have often challenged themselves with this question, and have ruled their conscience in their service to humanity. Politicians, public sector workers as well as private sector operators whose principles are governed by this fundamental question have always come out wuth solution to human problems. A man or woman who challenges himself/herself with this question daily will have a lot to occupy him in the service of others and to humanity. In the Nigerian context, the question has always been what I am doing for my self. It is this selfish question and the high opinion Nigerian public office holders as well as the so called private sector that has held down the progress of this country. Instead of us being the giants we claim, the Nigeria nation has become a Lilliputian country. A nation where nothing work.
It beats every bit of imagination for officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to come out and tell the nation that 80 per cent of the country’s pipeline have been vangalised or ruptured and so distribution of petroleum product has become a hallow experience. It has shut down several businesses along the nation gateway, Apapa port, where on daily basis petrol tankers take over the express road leaving no room for other motorist. Given the misery, suffering this has caused Nigerians, public functionaries are not touched, and all they care is what comes to them.
In his presentation at the Oil Trading and Logistics 2014, African Downstream Expo in Lagos, Mr. Haruna Momoh, Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited, PPMC, said that 80 per cent of the country’s 5,120 kilometers pipeline network for petroleum distribution have been vandalised. He further disclosed that the country’s refineries are currently producing about 5.10 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, daily. This, he said, is in contrast with the average local consumption of 40 million litres per day.
In addition, Momoh disclosed that the refineries are currently producing Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) of three million litres daily, in contrast with an average consumption of 12 million litres per day and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) production of 2.1 million litres per day, despite an average consumption of 11 million litres daily. He said the country is facing difficulties in distributing products through existing pipeline due to pipeline vandalism and rupture due to aging. He further stated that the country is also faced with challenges of insecurity of pipelines to transport crude to existing refineries because of pipeline vandals.
He lamented the limited number of trucks for product haulage and the bad road network, saying as a result, most marketers, in some cases, use the same truck to convey products that are intolerable, such as Premium Motor Spirit and Dual Purpose Kerosene.

To address the challenges of products supply in the country, Momoh said the country requires three million metric tonnes per annum of product supply; 10,000 to 25,000 metric tonnes capacity vessels and additional jetties; over 1,000 additional trucks with a 20 metric tonnes carrying capacity and 500 Liquefied Petroleum Gas filling plants among others.
If officials at NNPC have the interest of others at heart it would have ensured that the pipelines are secured. It is not an act of God that pipelines are being vandalized. The Vandals are not ghost, they are human. They steal crude oil every day with out let and hindrance. They are known ton operators as well as government functionaries. They have had a field day because of vested interest by Nigerian officials. It is what is in it for me that has brought the nation to its kneel. If Nigerians challenge themselves on what I am doing for others, this issue will be a thing of the past. There is supposedly a lot of investment opportunities in the downstream segment of the oil sector, in the areas of construction/expansion of coastal storage facilities, provision of floating storage, dredging of the jetties to enhance draft and construction of more jetties, but who will put his money in a business that selfish interest will kill the following season?
If not for what is in it for me, why has the petroleum industry bill not been passed into law? It is because there those in government office who are profiteering from the current arrangement. Nigerians are aware that the mismatches between pricing regimes encourage informal markets, cross border fuel smuggling, differing product specification standards and adulteration of fuels. But nothing has been done; it is yearly lamentation by government that rent the airwaves.
Yet in the down stream of the oil sector operators complain of “multiplicity in reporting and compliance requirements with various government agencies; high dependency on deplorable road infrastructure and inadequate road networks for effective products distribution as a result of poor pipeline integrity. Limited number of jetties -there are currently a high number of vessels on the queue for few berthing space prevent timely receipts of product and thereby increasing product cost as a result of cost incurred on demurrages.”
If Nigeria must get out of this long jam, actors in the oil sector must look beyond selfish interest, and begin to be innovative in the approach to business; customer focused and be more sensitive to the lives of people and communities where oil installation operate.
That is the principle of what are you doing for others.


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