By Sylvester Idowu
As a way of sustaining the economy at this critical period of global meltdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately direct Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), to reopen all refineries in the country.
Chairman Delta state chapter of the IPMAN, Comrade Zino Onaemor, who gave the advise in Warri, said there could never be a better time for the Federal Government to look inwards on how to improve the nation’s economy than now.
He observed that the nation’s earnings from oil revenues would continue to depreciate as long as the Coronavirus pandemic continues globally, noting that the earlier the government considers the appropriate usage of its crude through local production to sustain the economy, the better for the nation.
“We are currently faced with a sad situation that requires a very drastic approach to keep our economy floating before we run into a more difficult and pitiable situation that could be worse that what we experienced during the recession period in this country.
“Since we are operating a mono economy and the people that buy oil from us are presently being devastated by the Coronavirus, thereby reducing the global prices of oil drastically, what a sensible government should be doing right now is making use of our crude by refining it locally to sustain our economy.
“We have our oil and we cannot drink it; let the Federal Gvernment direct NNPC to put the nation’s refineries back on stream, especially Warri Refinery that had no problems before being shut down by NNPC.
“We are aware they have been importing petroleum products to sustain the demands in the country, but if our refineries are working, it would go a long way in reducing these burden as these refineries can go into production to reduce the over dependent on importation.
“Our refineries have the capacity and full potentials of refining all the petroleum products PMS, AGO and DPK we needed for our daily consumption if they can be well managed and maintained to run at maximum capacity”, he said.
Onaemor also queried the rationale behind government’s decision to reduce only the prize of PMS (fuel) and does nothing about DPK and AGO that were equally being imported, stating that if the government can reduce pms price, then it can also effect reduction in the prices of these products to reduce the burden on the masses.