Expert recommends technological solution to fuel crisis

Salisu Waziri, Abuja

Chinedu Onyeizu

An oil and gas expert has called on the Nigerian government to put an end to the chronic fuel crisis through the use of a 3-NODE Policy and Technology-Based Solution.

Mr. Chinedu Onyeizu, a petroleum engineer said in Abuja that, if adopted, it would encourage the export of refined petroleum products rather than imports.

He explained that the solution focuses on leveraging on JV and Independent Partnership Agreements to make refined products abundant and affordable to Nigerian consumers.

“The strategy will require the unbundling of the downstream sector into 3 strategic Nodes namely: Downstream-Upstream Node (DUN), Downstream-Midstream Node (DMN), and Downstream-Downstream Node (DDN).

The 3-NODE model is a policy based and its critical enabler including: 1. Locating new refineries at operational bases of producing companies;  2. Collaborate with IOC’s and indigenous producers to operate the refineries while NNPC will oversee functions; 3. Align with the producer to allocate a reasonable quota of crude as constant feed to the refineries; 4. Work closely with the association of petroleum product marketers to distribute efficiently.”

He added that with the existing capacity of Nigeria to produce about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, the country would solve the problem of fuel scarcity permanently if the 3- NODE model is fully implemented.

The oil and gas expert stressed that the model has a technological application component, “Petrol-solve 1-3”, that will help to capture and transform in-context data into actionable insight, and monitor in real time, fuel volumes and product distribution networks.

“This model will help solve the issue of pipeline vandalism as the product will be refined at source. Fuel subsidy will also be a thing of the past as the government will withdraw subsidy gradually. Even the problem of poor forex will be solved because we are refining our product at source; we will have enough for our use and even export the product to other countries.”

On the deregulation of the downstream sector, Mr. Onyeizu said the removal of subsidy by the government had its negative impact on the citizens at the moment but with the implementation of the 3- Node model, the government would withdraw its subsidy payment gradually.

“When you create a platform for competition and marketers and oil producing companies make available petroleum products to the consumers, you are automatically killing the payment of subsidy, which is what the 3-NODES model is all about, “ he said.