Fuel Scarcity: IPMAN Demands Expedited Action on PIB

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  • Says 50 vessels currently in Nigerian waters

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to ensure full deregulation of the sector as a way of addressing the perennial fuel scarcity being experienced in Nigeria.

This is as the association disclosed that over 50 vessels bearing petrol have recently arrived in Nigerian waters and would help to ease the pockets of fuel scarcity still being experienced in different parts of the country.

The President of IPMAN, Mr. Chiedu Okoronkwo, while briefing journalists at the National Assembly thursday, said the passage of the PIB would encourage private sector participation.

“It would open up the system,” he said adding that several capable individuals are afraid to invest in the sector due to uncertainty.
Full deregulation of the sector would also help create more stable jobs for young Nigerians, he explained.

Okoronkwo reiterated the need for the federal government to prevail on the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stop collecting their charges contained in the pricing template in dollars.

This, he said, is necessary as the charges frustrate the marketers who have to resort to the black market to access foreign exchange to effect the payments.

The IPMAN President said while the N305 approved for oil imports is easily accessed at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the apex bank does not immediately approve requests for forex for the pricing template charges.
The marketer therefore has to find alternative means to get forex to pay the charges to avoid demurrage penalties which run into as much as $25,000 daily, he disclosed.

Okoronkwo also addressed the leadership crises in the association where three persons are claiming to be the president.
He disclosed that he has been pronounced president of the association by an Appeal Court and added that the crises has affected the activities of the body.

“When products are allocated, it is the executive that normally ensures it goes to those who have the capacity,” he said.
He addedsome of those who get the products are not even our members,” Okoronkwo said.