NNPC RESPONSIBLE FOR CURRENT FUEL SCARCITY— IPMAN CHAIRMAN
REPORTER: UCHE NDEKE
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says making petroleum products available to marketers is indeed a short-term measure towards ending the present hike and scarcity of petrol in Nigeria.
The Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, Mr. Chinedu Anyaso, stated this while Speaking with Radio Nigeria on the constitution of a 14 man steering committee by President Muhamadu Buhari aimed at ending the present hike in the price of the product.
According to Mr Anyaso, if the NNPC continued to sell petroleum products to Independent Tank Farm Owners, there was no way the price would come down since they would add money before selling to independent marketers.
The IPMAN boss said though the Federal Government might have done its studies before coming up with the steering committee, it was out of place not to have involved stakeholders like the Independent and Major marketers in the committee.
He said the major challenge and cause of the present hike in price and scarcity is as a result of shortage of the commodity, which, he said, might not be solved by setting up the committee.
Mr. Anyaso noted that if government would flood the country with petroleum products, the queues and price would crash down automatically.
The IPMAN boss, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come out open and explain to Nigerians their major challenges rather than setting up different committees that might not proffer immediate solution to the problem at hand.
“They must have actually done their homework before coming up with that idea on their own, but you know when government is planning for anything they must involve the players in the industry which is us the Independent and major marketers but I don’t think any of us are involved in that committee.
“And moreover, the problem we have is Shortage in supply, there is no enough product in the system, if government can flood the system with products I don’t think this committee is necessary, he said.”
Mr. Anyaso observed that the only thing the public would want to hear at the moment is that the products’ availability for marketers to load and distribute to the people instead of sourcing from Private Tank Farm Owners at an exorbitant price.
The Enugu Depot IPMAN Chairman also called on the government to ensure that all the local refineries were revived as the public would await the refinery being constructed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote to come on board.
Mr. Anyaso explained that the disparity in price of the commodity at various petrol stations across the country was determined by where and the amount each marketer bought the product, since the NNPC had refused to sell the commodity directly to marketers but preferred to load for private Tank Farm Owners who sell at a very high cost.
“What they should be giving us now is date for the refineries to start work because they told us it is 90% 80% completed.
“To be candid with you, these people are taking us on a merry-go-round. If you could remember last two years, I don’t know how many billions of dollars they mentioned to revitalize the refineries.
“Sometime last year, they said it will work this January and all that, all these things we have not seen anything on ground to give us hope that the refineries are coming on-stream soonest.
“And now the steering committee headed by Mr. President is telling us also that one of the terms of reference is on revitalizing the refineries again, the picture is not clear,” the IPMAN Chairman stated.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU