- Commends NNPC on intervention of the recent fuel crisis
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Operation Controller, Mr Mike Osatuyi has advised the Federal Government to commence total deregulation of the oil and gas sector to avert frequent fuel scarcity in Lagos over the weekend.
Osatuyi said that the deregulation of the downstream sector was the best option for the nation’s oil industry, adding that the current fuel scarcity had reawakened the call for complete deregulation of the downstream sector..
He said that the deregulation of the sector was the only panacea that could bring an end to the perennial fuel scarcity and complaints of non- payment of petroleum subsidies, stressing that if petrol was deregulated like diesel, this would address many challenges confronting the sector
The IPMAN chief said that the deregulation of the sector would help to provide enduring solution to the recurring problem of corruption associated with subsidy regime in the sector. He also noted that deregulation would address the functionality of the refineries, boost investment in the downstream sector and create more jobs in the sector.
He said that deregulation would help the sector and the nation’s economy by attracting private capital and appealed to the labour unions and the citizens to give the reform of the oil and gas sector a chance. He added that the current model of managing the sector has done a colossal damage to the Nigerian economy.
Osatuyi said that oil marketing companies had the capacity to import and sell petroleum products at reasonable and competitive prices if deregulated, adding that It is in the overall interest of the economy and the citizens that government should quickly deregulate the sector.
The IPMAN chief said: “Based on our experience with diesel, which was completely deregulated years ago, the panacea to fuel scarcity is deregulation. I have been in the oil industry for a very long time and almost 80 per cent of that time, we have experienced strikes. We will end it one day and there are just two words: complete deregulation,’’ he said. In the same vein, Osatuyi commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over its intervention to ensure adequate fuel supply, when he received 76, 000 litres of petrol in his Akute stations through the intervention scheme, in Lagos.
Osatuyi, who is also the Chairman, Nice Petroleum, said the scheme was to ensure total eradication of queues from fuel stations nationwide, as it was important for all IPMAN members to show-case what government was doing about special intervention petrol supply to marketers which came to stations at no extra cost.
The Nice Petroleum Chairman said the Federal Government, through NNPC/PPMC, should be lauded for these special schemes, adding that the only way to ensure total eradication of queues in the country is when this intervention of petrol supply is sustainable.
Osatuyi, however, urged NNPC/PPMC to ensure sustainability of the product so that marketers could sell at approved price of N87 per litre and the commitment of government in this regard was a clear demonstration of its readiness to partner with IPMAN on effective fuel distribution.
He also revealed that about 300 trucks had been loaded from Apapa private depot by members to various IPMAN outlets, adding that he has instructed his station manager to ensure 24-hour petrol sales until the product is exhausted, which is the mandate of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachwuchu.
Osatuyi, however, noted some challenges in the supply and distribution system that hamper efficient distribution of products across the country and calls for effective monitoring of the supply system, especially at the end points, to ascertain that what is trucked out from the depots is delivered at the designated fuel stations and dispensed to the public in the most efficient manner..
The IPMAN Chief advised NNPC officials to work toward achieving zero-queues at filling stations as soon as possible by providing the product for sales and urged government to ensure that the product was made available after the Christmas festivities for sustainability