IPMAN, MOMAN Move Against Kerosene, Diesel Scarcity | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Oil & Gas

IPMAN, MOMAN Move Against Kerosene, Diesel Scarcity

Posted: Jul 26, 2016 at 1:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Charles Okonji


Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have entered into partnership to tackle the scarcity of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), which is commonly called diesel, in the country.

The National President of IPMN, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, disclosed this against the backdrop of hike in the price of these products in most of the filling stations across the country, that IPMAN had been given license to import kerosene and diesel into the country, adding that the association had concluded agreement with its foreign partners to finance the importation.

Okoronkwo stated said that with the licence given IPMAN to import kerosene and diesel, Nigerians would be eased of the current scarcity of the products and suffering, explaining that in a couple of weeks now the products would be available at affordable prices.

He stressed the need both the Federal Government and marketers to ensure availability of the products to the benefit of the consumers, adding that this would go a long way in improving on the nation’s economy and bringing about development in the oil and gas sector.

IPMAN boss said: “We, IPMAN, have entered into partnership with some multi-nationals to assist the Federal Government to make petroleum products available in the country.  This, we hopes, will create value in the industry by ensuring that there is enough kerosene and diesel in all our members’ stations at affordable prices.”

According to him, the association had planned to commence importation of petroleum products to boost the activities of the downstream sector, pointing out that owing to the liberalisation of the sale of these products, the association had planned to import its own products for onward distribution to its members.

Okoronkwo added: “As at today because of the liberalisation exercise in the petroleum industry, we are working towards importing our own products. In short, we are on course to importing our products into the country so that we can distribute to our members.”

He disclosed that IPMAN had already signed some agreements with some of its foreign partners for product importation, while it planned to establish refinery in Nigeria to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products customers still on course.

The IPMAN boss informed that the Federal Government had restored association’s right to petroleum products in all the depots across the country, explaining that this would boost fuel supply across the country, especially as the association accounted for a large percentage of fuel retail outlets in the country.

He said: “With this action of government, we can take charge in all the petroleum products distribution in all the 21 depots in Nigeria. In no time the crisis of petroleum products scarcity will no longer exist.”

Okoronkwo appealed to IPMAN members to support the NNPC in protecting the pipelines from the nefarious activities of vandals, adding that the activities of vandals had caused the corporation billion of naira.

Informed gathered indicated that Nigerians had been groaning over the prices of petroleum products, which had continued to soar high amid economic hardship.

Some Nigerians have urged the Federal Government to work speedily at addressing the crisis in the Niger Delta region, which had led to the sharp rise in the prices of kerosene and other petroleum products.

Although the price of kerosene and diesel had been deregulated before now, their prices in the past week had shot up by 50 and 28 per cents respectively. Investigations revealed that petroleum products, which are very relevant to the masses, are now selling for above N250 per litre.

Some Nigerians pointed out that the higher prices of these products had added to the current economic hardship of the country.

The Managing Director, Destiny Oil and Gas Petroleum Company, Mr Desmond Titus, said that with the current situation, it appeared there was no respite for Nigerians, who had already felt the impact of a dwindling economy, as the price of kerosene had moved up to N270 per litre in Lagos, as against the official regulated price of N50.

Titus lamented the hardship many Nigerians had gone through as a result of the astronomical increase, adding that with inflation hitting an all-time high of 15 per cent without a corresponding increase in wages, the situation would become unbearable.

According to him, diesel, which the Federal Government claimed was deregulated, was selling at between N260 and N280 per litre.

A trader, MrsFunmiOyekanmi, who is also a mother of five, feared that the N220 pump price of kerosene would further increase, which would negatively impact on poor Nigerians, who solely depended on the product for domestic use.

Oyekanmi, who felt disappointed at the development, insisted that the situation in the country was not the change Nigerians prayed for.

She said: “Prices of foodstuffs and other commodities have increased by over 100 per cent saying, “Nigerians now go to bed hungry.”

A taxi driver at Costain, MrTajudeenBusari, berated the organized labour and civil society groups, who had not reacted against the high price of these products, noting that, “labour and civil society groups that Nigerians depended on to fight for their rights have been sold out.”

Busari pointed out that that was why the Federal Government was now getting away with its inimical and anti-people policies.

While lamenting that Nigerians had no alternative than to take their fate in their own hands, he said: “Nigerians are dying in large numbers as a result of the hardships being inflicted on them by this government, while labour is looking the other way.”

A computer analyst, Mr. Onyemaechi Ifeayin, blamed Nigerians for the development, saying: “When people sin, God will raise a wicked king to afflict them. That is what is going on in Nigeria today, so the affliction has just begun.

“Nigerians must pay for their foolishness in voting for change. A man is not measured by his words, but rather by his actions. Nigerians fell for blackmail, lies and proposed aids, so they must pay for it,” he stressed.

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, blamed scarcity of foreign exchange for the hike in pump price of petroleum products.

Adewole said: “The reasons for the hike in price can be attributed to scarcity of foreign exchange. Marketers find it extremely difficult to import kerosene due to huge gap between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rates.

“For instance, a dollar is selling at N285 at the floating market while it is selling at N368 to a dollar at parallel market. The perfect alternative for the country is putting the refineries in order.

“But our inability to refine kerosene locally also contributes to the hike. It is not that marketers are not importing, but it is not in sufficient quantity. Marketers that bring in products will have to recoup their investment,” he added.

The Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Western Zone, Alhaji Abdul-Lateef Jaiyeola, argued that “because diesel has been deregulated, value of naira in exchange to a dollar will translate to hike in pump price of diesel.

Jaiyeola stated: “On the other hand, scarcity of foreign exchange has discouraged marketers to import kerosene while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which has been importing kerosene for marketers has also stopped importing the product.

“They rely on kerosene from refineries, mainly Warri and Port Harcourt refineries. But recent attacks on the pipelines and other oil installations have reduced output from the refineries.

“Another important factor that is responsible for increase in pump price of kerosene is that it is being diverted into aviation fuel. Liberalization of foreign exchange rate has resulted into expensive imported Jet-A1 fuel otherwise called aviation fuel.

“And because kerosene can be re-processed into aviation fuel, many marketers may have been diverting the product,” he stressed.