About N4 trillion downstream investments are being threatened, as over 198 private depots or tank farms across the country have remained idle since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) assumed the full importation of petroleum products, The Guardian reports.
These depots do not include the 22 operated by NNPC through which it pumps refined products across the country. The inactivity of the depots is due to the inability of the major and independent marketers of petroleum products to access foreign exchange (forex), and obtain letters of credit to import. The development has brought to the fore the proliferation of private tank farms and their sustainability in the long term, against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s promise to end products importation next year.
It has been estimated that it costs between N18 and N30 billion to construct a depot depending on the size. At N18 billion per one the 198 tank farms will translate to, at least wasting N4 trillion investments. More than this, about 19,000 direct jobs are at risk in the event that the depots close shop, aside from thousands more jobs that would be lost indirectly.