Fuel Scarcity: Uba Seeks Probe Of Oil Marketers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fuel Scarcity: Uba Seeks Probe Of Oil Marketers

Posted: Jun 1, 2015 at 12:04 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Obas Esiedesa,  Abuja

The call for the removal of fuel subsidy is amounting on President Muhammadu Buhari, given the recent nasty experience of Nigerians over fuel scarcity in the country. Perhaps in an attempt to curry the favour of the new administration, Ifeanyi Uba who is reported to have brokered the present ease in the petroleum market, and a known beneficiary of subsidy, on Sunday called for the deregulate of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by removing subsidy on premium motor spirit (petrol) and kerosene.


Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, who spoke in Abuja also called on Buhari to probe those behind the recent shutdown of the country through non supply of petrol. He appealed to Nigerians to support deregulation in other to get petroleum products at the lowest price.

His words: “I have always been of the view that we should deregulate so that we can cut out corruption but unfortunately Nigerians didn’t take it from Goodluck Jonathan.”

While acknowledging that although government was indebted to the marketers, he maintained that the agitation for the payment of their monies was not properly handled.

“Indeed the marketers are being owed large sums of money and I am one of those being owed a large sum of money but I believe that dialogue should have been the choice of the marketers especially considering the state of the nation.

“It was unprecedented in the country for oil marketers to go on strike for up to four days and what I expected was to have a warning strike before a total shut down,” he said.

Uba who admitted that the decision to shutdown the country was not a unilateral one, stated that the few marketers who were behind the shutdown should be probed.

“It was unpatriotic for them to shutdown the country, if this is not properly investigated there could be a repeat of such, marketers should know that they are not labour unions, there was an agreement with government to pay them gradually, but they disregarded the agreement and unpatriotically threw the country into crisis,” Uba said.

He revealed that he pulled out of the oil marketers’ strike because his company was not consulted before the marketers’ decision to shut down operations was taken against national interest.

“My facilities store products for the Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company (PPMC), an arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which means such products belong to the Federal Government.

“For a facility like ours, we should be considered before taking this position, what if people storing product in our facilities sue us? They have the rights to take their products, what if PPMC sue us or cancel our contract? We need to ask these questions”.

Uba advised the Federal Government to assist investors interested in building refineries in the country, noting that failure by government to give the right support to players in the oil and gas sector in spite of their capacity to run the industry successfully had painfully made Nigerians go through avoidable hardships in their country.

Citing an example with his firm, he said; “Go to Capital Oil, you will see over 19 vessels floating, for three years none has worked for one day and these are investment made in line with government policy. Who will give you facility when you don’t even have turnover? I would like to see the incoming government take a good look at the sector and I will be willing to advise because I have suffered so much in line with government policies in the downstream sector of the Nigerian economy,” he added.