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 the commodity in Nigeria.
The Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, Mr Chinedu Anyaso stated this while Speaking with our correspondent on the constitution of a fourteen man steering committee by President Muhamadu Buhari in a bid to end the present hike of the product.
According to Mr Anyaso, if the NNPC continue selling the products to Independent Tank Farm Owners , there was no way the price would come down since they will add money before selling to independent marketers.
The IPMAN boss said though the Federal Government may 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 setting upcoming committee may not solve immediately.
Mr Anyaso noted that if government would flood the country with petroleum products, the queues and price will automatically crash down.
” 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. ”
The IPMAN boss therefore called on federal government to come out open and explain to Nigerians their major challenges rather than setting up different committees that may not proffer immediate solution to the problem at hand.
He observed that the only thing the public would want to hear at the moment is that the product is available for marketers to load and distribute to the people instead of sourcing from Private Tank Farm Owners at an exorbitant price.
The Enugu Depot Chairman also called on the government to ensure that all the local refineries are working while the public expects and wait for the refinery built by a private individual to come on board.
The IPMAN Chairman regretted that government was taking the masses on a merry-go-round on the issue of revitalizing the Nation’s refineries as it had become a song for a very period with huge amount of money said to have been earmarked and spent with no tangible results to show that the refineries are coming up anytime soon.
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 has refused to sell the commodity directly to marketers but preferred to load for private Tank Farm Owners who sell at a very high cost.
He also hinted that few days ago the NNPC informed the marketers that the price of lifting petrol from depot have been increased from the previous 148 Naira ,17 Kobo to 180 Naira per liter despite the Minister of state for Petroleum earlier denying knowledge of any increase by government.
” What they should be given 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 this 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”
Our correspondent reports that the IPMAN Chairman however regretted that the major concern remains the availability of the product which most marketers have not been able to source in the last few days.