The recent partial deregulation of the downstream sector by the federal government is beginning to take a positive effect as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has expanded its mode of service delivery of petroleum products across the nation.
The association recently signed a five-year throughput and trading agreement with Star Synergy Petroleum Services Limited.
The agreement includes storage and supply of petrol, diesel, kerosene and Aviation fuel across Nigeria.
The new agreement will boost IPMAN’s over 2,500 gas stations in the length and breadth of Nigeria and as a direct move to play a major role in the deregulation of the sector by the Federal Government of Nigeria, according to the Managing Director of Star Synergy Petroleum Services, Mr. Babatunde Babalola.
“The arrangement between IPMAN and Star Petroleum is coming at a time the Nigerian government is doing all in its power to make petroleum products available in good quantity to all Nigerians and as such we must play our role positively to enhance the government gesture.
“Though the recent increase in pump price of petroleum products especially PMS otherwise known as Petrol came at a time the nation economy is going through one of its worst moment since nationhood but with the assurance from the President Muhamadu Buhari led Federal Government Nigerians would soon smile.
“IPMAN as a responsible body is doing all in its ability to make supply of the products easier for the reach of all Nigerians through
it’s over 2,500 outlets and anything that would make such work is worth its while.
“We are happy to be playing some role in contributing to the storage and supply of the products which is the recent agreement entered into with the leadership of IPMAN, Babalola added.
The IPMAN and Star Synergy Petroleum Services agreement takes immediate effect.
IPMAN had offered to partner the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on importation of petrol, following a recent declaration by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that the burden of importation was weighing heavily on the corporation.
National Secretary of IPMAN, Danladi Pazali had told THISDAY that the association was capable of ending the perennial scarcity of petrol if the NNPC was willing to engage with the association and its plans.
Pasali said IPMAN with its large membership base could help end product scarcity if the government curbs the unhealthy bureaucracy in the management of the downstream sector.
He said the association had presented its position to the government but the government had remained adamant on it
“IPMAN controls almost 80 per cent of the stations in the country, stakeholders should be consulted and meetings held.
They should allow people to bring in products. We have partners that are willing to come in with products and the government must be willing to open up, there is no way we will continue to wait for this. I want to believe the minister didn’t mean that we will wait for this long. The whole issue is that the government tried to do direct-sale-direct-purchase programme, we have partners across the world that need Nigeria’s crude and they are contacting us all the time, now, we are asking the minister to wipe out all these bureaucratic bottlenecks and allow people with the capacity to bring in refined products, and we don’t need CBN forex in this situation because it is going to be direct-purchase-direct-sales,” Pasali had explained.