Petrol Refining: why petrol and kerosene must be expensive in Nigeria

If not that the secret scientific formula for the processing of crude oil into its various components is locked away in an unbreakable safe and hidden in some nautical unknown under the sea, my first impulse would be to suggest that we simply abandon the ready-made technologies confounding us and begin to refine our crude oil locally like the US did when Edwin Drake first found oil near Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. Or like the UK did with small scale refining in 1914.

In the 1800s, the US immediately began to primarily produce kerosene for oil lamps. Vehicles and automobile engines were still scarce commodities at the time. The US simply boiled their crude and collected the components that emerged at different temperature in a unit called fractional distillation column. Unfortunately the two World Wars led to the loss of the manuscripts of the ancient texts that contained this secret knowledge.

Chai, nature is unfair to Nigeria.

Now, the only two options left for Nigeria if Plankton cannot sidestep Spongebob to find the secret formula are:

1. Buy expensive refinery technologies from foreign land. Install the plant in Lagos with the help of foreign experts who we shall continue to pay foreign expert charges and expensive yearly TAM fees as well as regularly procure expensive foreign parts, or;
2 Better still, get the foreign technologies installed in a neighboring country and go sign agreement with them so you can import from there at foreign prices same way we have been importing cars from Benin Republic. Brilliant! Bravo!!

I totally agree that if Nigeria should even found the secret formula and begin to use means and technology wherewithal within her control to execute the refining, it may lead to arifin – i.e. a situation where local fuel cost crashed and Nigeria becomes a net exporter of both crude and refined product with the added advantage of earning commanding Forex position et cetera which may now make Nigeria begin to do yanga to senior countries like the USA and UK or even take true charge of regional leadership in Africa sef! Her Naira may then begin to grow strength since her biggest consumption is now being met locally! Arifin nla!

But more importantly is the epiphany that once Nigeria is able to use wherewithal within her means to locally produce her kerosene, diesel and petrol, it would substantially weaken the refinery market in many foreign countries which hitherto depended on import from Nigeria. It may now lead to recession in those countries. They may now be in economic crisis. Their citizens may now begin to experience hardship. Gbam! It means Nigerians are actually Messiahs – their suffering is what is preventing citizens of other countries from suffering! See?

That is it!

As Nigerians, we stand to lose our enviable status as Messiah in the sub-region if we should fix our refinery problems. Especially if we embrace the option of evolving the organic technical capacity – where expertise, technology, parts and labour are sourced locally!

All the countries that hitherto sold PMS, AGO etc to us would go bankrupt. Their people would then suffer. But if we Nigerians continue to suffer like this, then the people of those countries would experience joy, economic growth, stability and peace of mind – all due to our Messianic role!

It’s like the federal government deciding to support one or two of our local companies to start offering exact cable TV services like DSTV (CNN, BBC, sports etc), ah, that would considerably weaken DSTV and negatively impact South Africans’ economy!

It’s also like asking Nigeria to introduce a flat duty of not more than 2.5% on imported cars of any brand like they do in the USA. Ah! That would throw Republic of Benin into turmoil and make her people suffer. But if we can increase ours to the 35% it was before, then our ports would be deserted by our suffering middle class who would now import their cars through the Benin Republic ports thereby empowering the people of Benin Republic in our capacity as big brothers. It may also considerably expand the tokunbo car purchase value chain by opening entirely unlikely ‘fayawo’ sub-industry where many of our school drop outs can find expressions for their hidden talents.

As big brother, Nigerians are suffering in order to ensure that other African countries do well! See!


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