God’s will Ojodomo Lokoja
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria ( IPMAN) has warned those engaged in unwholesome practices in the oil and gas downstream sector to turn a new leaf as it has entered into partnership with the Security Agencies in the Country to curb their menace.
Ibrahim Aliyu, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President of IPMAN , Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo gave the warning Friday when his team visited the command Army Records , Chari Maigumeri Barracks, Lokoja.
The SSA who is the chairman of the presidential task force on unwholesome practices in the industry, said based on the president Muhammadu Buhari “s directives to clean the ungean table of the industry, the IPMAN has to constitute his team to liaise with all the security agencies to checkmate the activities of the criminals.
He decried the activities of some members and some unscrupulous Nigerians who connive with some countries to ship in substandard and adulterated petroleum products with its effect on rampant explosions of petroleum tankers across the country.
According to him, cases of petroleum explosions abound across the country that people and their property were being burnt by the inferno due to the low quality of the products.
He added that when this substandard products are being carried by trucks on a long distance and when it comes in contact with an object, the already heated product will explode, saying the substandard products are responsible for most of the explosions.
He said the team is determined to checkmate the activities of bunkerers and illegal refiners who allegedly supply products to insurgents and bandits that are attacking the country.
He hinted that with the useful discussions he had with the military , he is confident that the reign of the criminals in the sector would soon be over.
On the issue of racketeering in subsidy payment , the SSA, disclosed that the petroleum marketers contrary to the belief of some Nigerians are on the receiving end as most often their bridging claims with the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF ) are not being paid as at when due and some occasions not being remitted.
“Alot of filling stations are being closed down. When bridging is done , most times we are not being paid. We borrow from Banks to finance the business and when huge sums of money is committed to ensuring that products got to nooks and crannies of this country and the agency saddled with the reimbursements will not honour its own obligation which is not good for us.
” Other problem militating against us is the government policy which often did not consider our interests. For instance , you import at the landing cost of say #145 per litre and before you land here government will fix her price far below the Cost price .
” Alot of factors are against us and the National President is working hard with stakeholders to address them and when that is done the people would be better for it. When the inhibiting factors are removed majority of Nigerians would benefit as products will be discharged at moderately competitive prices.” He assured.
While commending the military for their assured partnership and synergy in the fight against economic saboteurs, appeal to the National Assembly Committee on petroleum sector to come to their aid in resolving some grey areas with the petroleum Equalisation Fund.