12 0ctober 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says the reactivation of the nation’s four troubled refineries should precede any plan by the government to remove petroleum subsidy.
IPMAN’s National President, Aminu Abdulkadir, told journalists in Abuja that instead of embarking on full removal of the subsidy, the government should deregulate in phases till it is convenient for complete removal.
He urged the government to mobilise the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to secure the country’s 5,430-kilometre pipelines network to the extent that it can convey products from the coastal region to inland depots instead of bridging the products.
Abdukadir said the government should strengthen the capacity of independent marketers with credit facilities as the case with major marketers, stating that no nation can afford to leave its economy in the hands of foreigners as it is in Nigeria.
The IPMAN boss stated that for the first time in the last 11 years, the NNPC has been able to convey products to its Gombe, Jos and Gusau depots, adding that the level of preparedness for deregulation in the country is still very low.
Abdulkadir said the government would worsen the situation should it go ahead to remove petroleum subsidy if the product is not available, especially now that 60 per cent of the product is secured through bridging.
He stressed that the government should secure the pipelines, rejuvenate the refineries, make the inland depots functional and enhance the independent marketers’ capacity to deliver.