Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri
Depot operators under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association have appealed to the Federal Government to prioritise the upgrade of the three existing refineries in the country to meet the nation’s petroleum consumption.
The operators lamented that the current fuel scarcity in the country has persisted owing to the non-availability of the product which has resulted in short supply against the increasing demands for the product throughout the country.
Speaking at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Department of Petroleum Resources with members of DAPPMA in Ekpan, near Warri, Delta State, the operators stated that although fuel queues were gradually phasing out, there was need by federal government to boost the availability of the product to avoid returning the dark days soon.
The meeting which also had representatives of the Nigeria Bar Association, NNPC, PPMC and other relevant stakeholders including security agencies and operators from Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States expressed fear that fuel scarcity might returned if the government continue to rely on imported refined product.
The Depot Manager, Nepal Oil and Gas Services Limited, Mr. John Okoro, who spoke on behalf of other depot operators at the end of the meeting, called on DPR to intensified its monitoring activities to ensure that product marketers sell the product at the government approved pump price.
“What led to the problem we have at hand is not having enough from the federal government because if the Federal Government can put our refineries in place and up to standard, the problem of scarcity will be a thing of the past. If one out of the three is working, we won’t be experiencing this crisis”, Okoro added.
On his part, the Terminal Manager, Matrix Energy Limited, Mr. Raphael Biu, appealed to the Federal Government to address the scarcity of the product to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, adding that Matrix Energy played a major role in crashing the price.
Biu added, “Basically, if the product is adequately made available, the scarcity will end. The reason you hear and see queues in filling stations is because the available product is not enough. We (operators) are appealing to the government to make the product more available. We have also agreed to work with DPR to end the fuel crisis which is fast reducing. It might interest you that all through this period, Matrix sold at N145.”
Meanwhile, DPR Warri Zonal Operations Controller, Mr Antai Asuquo, has said DPR has reached agreement with DAPPMA to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country particularly states under the Warri zonal operation.
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