NUPENG seeks probe of Kerosene distribution, sale

Kerosene-queue-at-an-NNPC-filling-stationEluonye Konyegwuaehi

06 September 2014, Sweetcrude, Houston – NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan, to set up a high powered probe into the sale and distribution of Kerosene in the country, alleging that some powerful individuals are feeding fate on the subsidy on Kerosene to the detriment of the masses.

President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, the call became necessary because the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had refused to act despite several petitions.

“Today there is crisis because DPK (Kerosene) is being subsidized by the Nigerian government and everybody is running away from AGO (diesel) because AGO is already deregulated. As we speak, NNPC is the sole importer of DPK. Looking at the production capacities of our refineries; the Port Harcourt refinery, the Warri Refinery and Kaduna Refinery, you know very well that there is a huge shortage in terms of supply while demand is increasing daily. I am calling for investigations because we have gotten to a level where things must be unfolded for the world to know what is happening. NUPENG is also looking at a situation where this can be done right. Investigations have shown that Nigerians are among the highest owners of private jets in the world, but we are still suffering because of the uneven distribution of God-given wealth and resources we have today.

“Why are some of the filling stations that sell DPK moribund? It is because they no longer receive products. We have reports that marketers are suffering because their fund is tied down at NNPC for the past two or three years because they have not been given allocations. If you see drafts lying in NNPC, they run into millions or billions of naira. Marketers will put in drafts and submit to NNPC, and at the end of the day, these drafts will be lying idle in NNPC, unattended to. For two or more years, the marketers will not received products to distribute. You ask the question, has NIPCO been receiving products? Has IPMAN been receiving DPK as expected from NNPC? The answer is yes, and at what rate? They get the product at less than N45.00. How much do they sell this product? Go and find out.

“Is NIPCO or IPMAN being paid subsidy as the case maybe, and the answer is yes. We need to look at this issue. Yes, we appreciate those who work hard and who God has also blessed in their efforts to be what they are today. I cherish these individuals. But we must expose those who corruptly enriched themselves to the detriment of the majority of Nigerians. Until we get to that level, it will be difficult to correct a lot of abnormalities in that sector. The question is, who is supposed to clear this mess and move the sector forward? It is the Ministry of Petroleum because it is its responsibility. By the Act that established NNPC, it is its responsibility to look into this issue.

“We have been asking for opportunity to meet with the Minister of Petroleum to let her know these issues, and ways we can overcome them, but it has been very difficult. We know President Jonathan cannot follow up all that are going on; he can only follow up on information given to him by top government functionaries. The responsibility of giving him the necessary information falls on the minister. Where do we have huge corruption today? It is in oil and gas. In terms of divestments, corruption, in terms of those who buy the oil blocks, corruption, in terms of those who come to invest in the sector, corruption, in terms of the processes and others, there is corruption everywhere.

Most of these marketers take DPK outside the country. Even when they are imported by Nigerians, and brought into our storage facilities in Nigeria before you know they are taken out of this country. These products are being recycled. Nigeria is so corrupt in this issue of the oil and gas sector, especially in the downstream. Government must see the challenges in the sector, like the way they view insurgency in the country. The Government must take the stance and understand that the sector must be restructured,” he enthused.

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