The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to improve efforts in ensuring enhanced capacity of the refineries in the country and depots to end fuel importation.
Alhaji Debo Ahmed, Chairman Western Zone, IPMAN, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos against the backdrop of some moribund depots.
Ahmed said that if the country’s refineries and the 22 NNPC depots were working effectively, this would save the huge amount spent on importation and subsidising the price of fuel by NNPC.
He also urged the government to embark on massive repairs of depots and product pipelines in the country to save the country huge investment on products importation.
According to him, when all refineries are in full production, it would go a long way in addressing fuel scarcity and check petroleum product importation.
He said: “This is the appropriate time to save the economy by stopping subsidy and channel the money to other sectors.
“Pumping of products to Ejigbo Satelite depot has been challenging in the last three months while Ibadan depot loading capacity has dropped to 10 per cent.”
He also said that the Ibadan depot had been operating on skeletal loading for almost three months.
Ahmed also urged government to provide adequate security to checkmate pipeline vandals across its pipelines network to ensure adequate product availability.
He said that incessant pipeline vandalism had turned the country into importer rather than an exporter of refined oil and trucking the imported fuel from the coastal areas to hinterland.
Ahmed also called on government to ensure reduction of petroleum products trucking to short distances by making sure that the 22 depots function properly.
He said that the depots should also be strategically located throughout the six geo-political zones of the country to boost distribution.