Some Oil Marketers Discouraged Investors From Building Refineries In Nigeria – IPMAN President
IPMAN president has revealed how some oil marketers discouraged investors from building refineries in Nigeria.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says some aggrieved members frustrated foreign investors from establishing refineries in the country.
IPMAN President Chinedu Okoronkwo, who spoke on the backdrop of the fuel scarcity in Nigeria and increase the price of aviation fuel and diesel, said the crises could have been prevented if the country had working refineries.
He said some investors from Italy had perfected plans to invest $3bn in setting up two refineries in Bayelsa and Kogi states but were frustrated out of the country.
Okoronkwo said this on Thursday in The Arise TV Interview monitored by our correspondent, urging the government to provide some interventions to solve the aviation fuel and diesel crises.
Air fares have skyrocketed in the country in recent days as the price of aviation fuel rises steadily and now sells for about N600/litre.
Asked why it was difficult for IPMAN to work with the government in resolving moribund local refineries and stop oil importation, Okoronkwo said, “When I came on board, that was one of the major issues we had wanted to tackle. In any house where you have crisis, that house does not grow. Those (members) who lost started throwing tantrums, doing a lot of things to disturb that process.
“We would have had about two refineries now: one at Itome in Kogi and another one in Bayelsa. A group came from Italy with about $3bn. We took them to the Villa, DSS and they did their documentation. Those groups who felt they were not happy with what was going on started harassing those white investors and they left. The lands and everything are still there.”
IPMAN President, however, advised against selling Nigerian refineries “as scraps,” noting that they should be fixed “before talking about selling them.”
Answering further questions on fuel scarcity and high cost of diesel as well as aviation fuel, he said, “We have divisions of labour. If this product (petrol) is available, the marketers we work for 24 hours or even 48 hours. I can’t talk for the government. But right now, they have assured us of availability and we must go to bank with their words.
“The dollar is the determinant of these products. I think that is the area government can look at and see how refineries can take off, looking at the chain of bringing in the products. By the time these local refineries are up and running, some of these problems will not be there.
“For now, everything comes from abroad even the aviation fuel. The government can do some intervention so that this crisis (of high cost of diesel and aviation fuel) will not escalate. Russian war is another factor. Intervention will go a long way.
“The government did it with the aviation issue when Abba Kyari was alive. He called the marketers and singled those who are into aviation fuel and NGO (diesel) and the government did some interventions.”