The Federal Government has been advised to sell off any of the nation’s refineries that fails to come back on stream as well as deregulate the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, gave the advice while disclosing the Federal Government’s Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) intervention scheme with the association.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had recently given a 90-day fast-track ultimatum for the revival of the refineries. Four days to the end of the deadline, only one of the refineries (Kaduna) has resumed production.
The nation’s refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.
Osatuyi said, “Refineries that will die will die. The ones that will survive will survive. If the refinery is not working, let them go and sell it as scrap. Dangote is putting up 600,000bpd facility, which will come on stream in 2018, and is more than the combined installed capacity of the four refineries we have. If those refineries cannot survive, let them go and sell them as scrap.”
He said the NNPC commenced the PMS intervention scheme which had seen trucks of petrol taken to IPMAN members on credit to reduce the scarcity of the product across the country.
“This is a process that has just started and I believe that it will spread throughout the country. I want the NNPC/PPMC to sustain this and IPMAN can assure the government that we are going to support it now that it has agreed to partner with us.
“IPMAN controls about 84 per cent of retail outlets in the country. Now that the government is ready to work with us, we are also ready to work with the government. It should give us the fuel and we’ll sell it.
“The scheme started last week, and my coordinator in Apapa confirmed to me that there was massive loading on Thursday to various other IPMAN members in the whole country.”
To put a stop to fuel scarcity in the country, he said, “The ultimate is to deregulate. We are the stakeholders; we are the players and we have been on the job for a long time. The best thing for President Muhammadu Buhari to do is to deregulate the industry now. We don’t need to spend time at filling stations queuing for six hours to buy fuel. Actually, if they deregulate, we are going to have various prices, which is normal. But this is the time to deregulate.”