By Angela James,
Edo State Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Alhaji Abdulhamid Baba Saliu has said that Nigeria’s refineries should be working before deregulation.
Alh. Abdulhamid who made this remark while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin on the sudden deregulation of the Petroleum sector of the economy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said that IPMAN has been clamouring for deregulation of the sector with the understanding that the four refineries are working full capacity to cushion its effect on the people.
“As a matter of fact, we’ve been expecting deregulation but not at the time we got it. Deregulation simply means making the market open for everybody. As we all know Nigeria is a crude oil country but because there is a bottleneck and the government is controlling the price of Petroleum investors cannot come in and invest in the sector. But with deregulation opportunity has been given to investors to come and invest in the sector. Because kerosene and diesel are deregulated, you have all the modular refineries you hear of today. But for petroleum, investors were not coming instead Nigeria sells crude oil at the international market price, transports it out of the country for refining and then sold back to us because our refineries are not working”.
While noting that the subsidy removal caught the independent marketers unaware Alh. Abdulhamid stressed that marketers are trying to find their feet as they can now only get the product at a much higher cost.
“When President Tinubu deregulated, it took immediate effect. When you as a marketer go to the market now, you’ll be buying at a higher cost. That is why some marketers were trying to get the current price in order to know how to sell. Some still took the risk of adjusting the price even when the private depots we buy from were shot down and not sold to us. So, we advised our members to be fair and sell at a price with the human face before all of a sudden NNPC released their own pump price”.
On the NNPC 511 naira per litre pump price, Alh. Abdulhamid explained that the 511 naira per litre pump price is for NNPC retail outlets and not for independent marketers stressing that any independent marketer selling at that price is not making profits.
“When a marketer that has the capacity of buying 30,000 litres at 9 million and some fractions goes to the market now, he will get that product at 30 million. And if he sells his old stock at the old price, he and his staff will automatically be out of business. When vehicle dealers hear that Dollars have gone up, they check the vehicle’s current value before selling so they won’t be out of business”.
On the Federal Government’s policy of shutting down marketers without a license, Alh. Abdulhamid said that all IPMAN members are licensed oil marketers noting that those that need renewal are working round the clock to do so.
Alh. Abdulhamid called on Nigerians to be patient and prayerful as government implement measures to mitigate the effects already weighing the masses down.
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