*Says non-performing refineries should be sold off
28 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government, under the special intervention programme for fuel supply aimed at arresting the intractable fuel scarcity, has released about 300 trucks of petrol to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
The National Operation Controller of IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, who confirmed this while disclosing the Federal Government’s Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) intervention scheme with the association, commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over effective special intervention fuel supply to marketers across the country.
Osatuyi said that the fuel intervention effort was in a bid to ensure total eradication of queues from fuel stations across the country in the next few days.
He added that it was important for all IPMAN members to commit themselves and support efforts of government to ensure the success of the special intervention petrol supply to marketers which supplied to stations at no extra cost.
According to him, Federal Government, through NNPC/PPMC should be lauded for these special intervention schemes, this shows that government care for the people.
“The only way to ensure total eradication of queues in the country is when this intervention of petrol supply is sustainable.
“At my station, I was given two trucks of 76 million litres which payment would be remitted after sales,’’ he said.
Osatuyi, however urged NNPC/PPMC to ensure sustainability of the product so that marketers can sell at approved price of N87 litre.
He said now that government has chosen to partner with IPMAN on effective fuel distribution, the association is also fully ready to support the scheme to ensure no member sells above pump price.
The IPMAN boss said that about 300 trucks had been loaded from Apapa private depot by members to various locations of IPMAN outlets.
In the meantime, the Federal Government has been advised to sell off any of the nation’s refineries that fails to come back on stream as well as deregulate the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had recently given a 90-day fast-track ultimatum for the revival of the refineries. Four days to the end of the deadline, only one of the refineries (Kaduna) has resumed production.
The nation’s refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.
Osatuyi said, “Refineries that will die will die. The ones that will survive will survive. If the refinery is not working, let them go and sell it as scrap. Dangote is putting up 600,000bpd facility, which will come on stream in 2018, and is more than the combined installed capacity of the four refineries we have. If those refineries cannot survive, let them go and sell them as scrap.”
He said the NNPC commenced the PMS intervention scheme which had seen trucks of petrol taken to IPMAN members on credit to reduce the scarcity of the product across the country.
“This is a process that has just started and I believe that it will spread throughout the country. I want the NNPC/PPMC to sustain this and IPMAN can assure the government that we are going to support it now that it has agreed to partner with us.
“IPMAN controls about 84 per cent of retail outlets in the country. Now that the government is ready to work with us, we are also ready to work with the government. It should give us the fuel and we’ll sell it.
“The scheme started last week, and my coordinator in Apapa confirmed to me that there was massive loading on Thursday to various other IPMAN members in the whole country.”
To put a stop to fuel scarcity in the country, he said, “The ultimate is to deregulate. We are the stakeholders; we are the players and we have been on the job for a long time. The best thing for President Muhammadu Buhari to do is to deregulate the industry now. We don’t need to spend time at filling stations queuing for six hours to buy fuel. Actually, if they deregulate, we are going to have various prices, which is normal. But this is the time to deregulate.”