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PIB: Fix refineries, downstream regulations, IPMAN urges FG

By on July 23, 2013

As the public hearing on the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) enters its second week today at the National Assembly, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), at the weekend lamented the parlous state the nation’s existing refineries, urging the Federal Government to fix them urgently.

IPMAN National President, Abdulkadir Aminu, in a statement in Abuja, demanded the inclusion of the association on the boards of the downstream sector regulatory agencies.

According to Aminu “it is a fact that IPMAN and MOMAN (Major Marketers Association of Nigeria) control downstream sector, so our exclusion is like shaving somebody’s head in his absence.

“IPMAN and MOMAN are currently on the board of PPPRA. We are using this medium to implore the National Assembly to include IPMAN and MOMAN on the board of Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency.

While commending the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the PPPRA for the steady and sustained supply of petroleum products over a period of time, he said, called “for refurbishment of refineries. “

If NNPC want to divest, IPMAN is interested in partnering with NNPC in this regard.

“IPMAN wants to build a refinery we want a clear cut policy on crude procurement, pricing etc. IPMAN also want an interest free loan from the government to be repaid back between 10 to 15 years”.

The group also wants supply of crude at subsidized price to the refineries for internal consumption, while refining products for export should be at international price.

“IPMAN should maintain her board status in all the relevant Petroleum Agencies as it were before being a major stakeholder in the downstream sector”, he added.

He also called for thorough exanimation of the product bridging policy of government, expressing concerned that its removal would led to a hike in the price of petroleum products in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

“Our concern on Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) in the PIB is item no (1)4 which stated that ‘Where the government decides that petroleum product market have been effectively deregulated, the minister shall take the required actions to ensure that the Equalisation Fund ceases to enlist and its assets and liabilities transferred to the Government to be controlled and managed by the ministry and at such time the provision of the section of this Act relating to the Equalisation Fund shall stand repealed.

“The implication of this is that in the Northern, Eastern and some parts of Western region of the country, the price gap of each petroleum products cannot be less than between 10-15 Naira per liter compared with the coastal areas prices because of transportation cost. This is going to be a great pain to the poor masses and the consuming public living in far away from coastal areas”.

[Daily Independent]