Port Harcourt — The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigerian, PETROAN, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s oil and gas sector, particularly the four state-owned refineries.
National President of PETROAN, Dr. Billy Gillis Harry, urged the government to take urgent steps in revamping the refineries in order to stop the continuous hike in the pump price of petroleum products.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, Harry warned that the problem of price hike will not end anytime soon, until all the refineries in the country become operational.
He said: “The main way out is to declare a state of emergency on all the four refineries. The refineries should be revamped, rehabilitated and made to function.
“Now that we have Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri as Minister of Petroleum, we will interface with him on this issue, on what needs to be done and we hope to get answers.
“Our refineries must work, in-country refining capacity must increase. Modular refineries of 10,000 barrels per day and above should be encouraged to be assembled in Nigeria in order to be able to meet the petrolEUm products consumption in Nigeria.”
On the issue of rumoured fuel price hike, the PETROAN boss, who said that only fuel importers can confirm the rumours, however, appealed to Nigerians not to indulge in panic buying to avert the issue of fire explosions.
“There is a rumour of fuel price increase but it’s only a rumour and not a fact. It’s only when importers tell us that the landing price has been affected by forex or cost in logistics, that’s when we will know.
“However, we will advised that members of the public should not engage in any panic buying based on the rumour, because your life is important, since petrol is a very volatile product that can easily be inflamed.
“However prices will continue to fluctuate so long as we (Nigeria) are import dependent, prices will either go up or come down depending on the purchasing power of the Naira over Dollar,” he said.