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Lack of Investment in Downstream Oil Sector, Cause of Perennial Fuel Scarcity, Says Pinnacle Oil CEO, Mbah
*Pays Buhari ‘thank you’ visit for inaugurating Lagos terminal
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Peter Mbah has declared that inadequate and lack of investments in the downstream of the oil and gas sector was responsible for the incessant petroleum products’ scarcity being experienced across the country.
Of recent, there have been recurring bouts of petroleum products scarcity, especially the premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, across the country, leading to series of controversies and buck-passing between the regulatory agencies and petroleum marketers.
Commenting on the issue while speaking with newsmen at the weekend, after paying a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, the Pinnacle Oil boss attributed the cause of the crisis to a deficit of investment in the downstream sub-sector, a problem, which he said his firm, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, had started solving with the inauguration of the largest storage terminal in West Africa in Lagos last year.
Asked about the possibility of fuel scarcity easing off soon in the country, Mbah said more investments in the downstream oil and gas sector would in a matter of time end the fuel scarcity problem.
He said: “There has been a deficit of the sort of investments Pinnacle has done in the last decades, but what we’re doing right now is to address that stagnation of investments in the downstream oil and gas industry.
“As you know, this is an investment size of about $1 billion. So we are expecting to see more of such investments because what the Pinnacle has done is to create some efficiency in the supply and distribution value-chain of the downstream sector.
“So we are indeed expecting that more investment in the downstream sub-sector would completely eliminate the sort of scarcity you are witnessing today”.
On why he came in the company of the Chairman of Pinnacle Oil and Gas, who is the Emir of Bichi Kingdom in Kano State, Alhaji Nasiru Ado-Bayero, to see the President, Mbah said it was to appreciate Buhari for inaugurating the company’s huge facilities at Lekki, Lagos State, in October, 2022.
According to him, the facilities’ activities had lowered costs and improved the distribution of petroleum products to many areas in the country while also easing traffic in the Apapa area of Lagos and had provided valuable job opportunities for many Nigerians.
“We, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, have come here today to express our profound gratitude and our heartfelt appreciation to Mr. President.
“You will recall that on the 22nd day of October, 2022, Mr. President inaugurated our storage terminal, adjudged to be the largest storage terminal in West Africa, with offshore intake facilities, also adjudged to be the deepest intake facility in the entire Africa, sitting at a water depth of 23 meters.
“So we do have SPM and CBM. Those are the offshore facilities we have. Those facilities have the capability to in-take the largest vessels you can imagine and discharge over 100 million liters of clean petroleum products within 24 hours. This is typically what takes the industry 30 to 32 days to discharge.
“So we have largely come here today to express our gratitude to Mr. President for the honour he gave us in inaugurating this largest facility, which has actually changed the face of the industry, because it has eased, as you know, this facility is located at the Lekki Free Zone, just by the Dangote Refinery,” he said.
Mbah added: “So what it has done, it has eased the congestion and the gridlock we have at the Apapa area in Lagos. It has also reduced the costs of supply and delivery of petroleum products in different parts of the country. It has also provided jobs for teeming unemployed Nigerians.
“So this is why we thought it necessary to come and say thank you to Mr. President.”