Lagos – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the coronavirus lock down in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory for another 14 days is a tough one but good for the country.
In a phone interview with SweetcrudeReports, the national president of IPMAN, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, stressed that, anything that will save lives cannot be overlooked especially looking at the rising number of deaths from the pandemic across the world.
Reacting to the plight of some marketers, who threatened to shut down their filling stations due to low patronage, he said, he felt their pains as they have to run a lot of costs with little or no profit. But, he stressed “prevention is better than cure”.
“If we begin to look at it from monetary angle, the loss that the marketers have suffered is huge and we should not be talking about that for now, as no amount of money can be used to quantify human lives and we will not be doing ourselves any good disregarding the order.
He emphasised that, the association is doing everything possible within its capacity to ensure there is availability of petroleum products across country, which will definitely ameliorate the pains the country is currently going through.
While speaking on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, decision to hands off the management of the refineries in the country, he said, this is the best decision the federal government has taken in recent times, noting that the association is solidly behind it.
He added that, the monies expected to be used in maintaining the refineries will now be diverted to other sectors in the country, which will invariably bring a turn around to the economy and growth of the country.
Responding to the position of his members not to adhere to the current price of N123.50 stipulated by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, he stated that, they have what they call upper and lower band, as their members are confined within these two bands.
He said, some filling stations are selling at the stipulated price of N123.50, while others are not, as it is all about demand and supply.
The IPMAN boss stated that, the market is moving to an era of incident pricing regime and the best is yet to come, as the refineries are expected to come alive in the shortest time and with the removal of under recover cost called subsidy, the pump is expected to drop even lower than the current one.
“If the product is refined in the country without exporting and bring it back, thereby incurring additional charges, definitely the price will drop drastically, until then it will be impossible to place a bench mark on the price of petroleum products,” he said.