FG complicit in lingering fuel scarcity, says oil marketers
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has revealed that the government is complicit in the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
This was the stance of Chinedu Anyaso, the Chairman of the association’s Enugu depot, during a media briefing on Sunday.
Anyaso’s statement was in reaction to the constitution of a 14-man steering committee by President Muhamadu Buhari in a bid to end the present hike in the prices of the products.
He noted that at this time, the only thing the general public would like to hear is that the product is available for marketers to load and distribute to the general public rather than IPMAN sourcing the items from Private Tank Farm Owners at excessive pricing.
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Anyaso asserted that there was no possibility of a price decrease if the NNPC kept selling the products to Independent Tank Farm Owners because they would always add money before selling to independent marketers.
Although the Federal Government may have conducted studies before forming the steering committee, the IPMAN leader claimed that it was inappropriate for stakeholders like independent and major marketers to not be represented on the committee.
The main issue and reason for the current price increase and scarcity, according to him, was the shortage of goods, which such a committee may not be able to address at once.
The IPMAN chairman regretted that the government was leading the populace on a merry-go-round regarding the subject of reviving the country’s refineries because it had turned into a song for a very long time with enormous sums of money allegedly allocated and spent without any discernible effects.
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Anyaso clarified that since the NNPC had refused to sell the commodity directly to marketers, instead preferring to load for private Tank Farm Owners who sell at very high costs, the disparity in prices of the commodity at various petrol stations across the country was determined by where and how much each marketer purchased the product.
Anyaso said, “They must have actually done their homework before coming up with that idea on their own, but you know when government is planning for anything they must involve the players in the industry which is us, the independent and major marketers, but I don’t think any of us are involved in that committee.
“Moreover, the problem we have is shortage in supply – there is not enough product in the system. If the government can flood the system with products, I don’t think this committee will be necessary.”