Tuesday, April 8, 2003

FG responsible for fuel scarcity -IPMAN

From Musa Umar Kazaure

Kano State Secretary-General of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, Alhaji Sani Ya'u Babura has blamed the Federal Government and major marketers for eh current fuel scarcity in the country.

He told Kano Trust in Kano that the preference shown by NNPC in giving petroleum products on credit to major marketers was the genesis of the current mismanagement in the petroleum industry.

"For the past five months, no independent marketer has been able to lift fuel from any of the NNPC deport nationwide. We have paid over 2 billion naira deposit for the fuel, but our tankers continue to wait for months without lifting a litre of petroleum products," he charged.

Alhaji Sani Ya'u Babura said blamed the federal government for the neglect o the oil sector despite its vital position in the economy. He said that no effort has been made since the regime of Babangida to avail another refinery in the country inspite of the huge resources generated by the sector. Initially, he said, only 20 per cent of the petroleum requirement of the country was imported into the country but due to government neglect, we are today importing over 80 per cent of such product.

The IPMAN scribe said though his organisation is against any fuel price increase drew to its negative effort on the average Nigerian, but the government is deliberately creating a situation where the fuel price increase will be seen as inevitable.

He defended members of his association the diversion of petroleum products to the black market saying "where did they get the fuel to divert? Who were caught red handed diverting petroleum products recently."

Alhaji Sani Yau Babura explained that the petrol seen in black markets in Kano were brought in by businessmen who go to Apapa, Warri and Shagamu to buy them at exhibitant prices and sell them at black market rate. He stated that no impendent marketers will sale such product in black market because it is against the rules and regulations.

He father revealed that the missing fuel that NNPC is sectioning major markers because to Abuja and environs, adding the only God knows what happened to fuel meant for Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Adamawa and Maiduguri.

He appeals to NNPC to release fuel to Impendent Petroleum Marketers, especially those for Kano zone to ease the current hardship experience by people in these states.