Private tank farms crippled refineries, says IPMAN

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association has said that the collapse of Nigeria’s refineries can be traced to the birth of private tank farms.

Chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State, Dr Joseph Obele, stated this when he appeared on a live Radio (93.7 Rhythm) programme monitored by our correspondent in Port Harcourt.

Obele said the Federal Government must do away with bureaucracy if it was sincere in making refineries in the country functional, noting that poor management was responsible for the non-functioning of the four refineries in the country.

He said, “We have about six factors that have contributed to the deplorable state of Nigeria’s refineries. One is bureaucracy and bottleneck. Two is the national cake syndrome.

“If you are the managing director today, there is this syndrome that it is our thing; we have to consume ours.

“Three is the aggressive competition by private tank farms. I want to speak to us that the collapse of Nigeria’s refineries can be traced to the commencement or the history or the day the private tank farms started.

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“It is the incompetence of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation as well as political and ethnic interference. The issue of the refineries is not technical but institutional.”

Obele said the Federal Government should restore subsidy on petrol until the countries four refineries were operating optimally.

He said, “The benefits of removal of subsidy are enormous. One, subsidy as we speak pose a very big threat to new entrants.

“So, removing it is a great opportunity for new entrants. It will bring boom to the industry and create employment opportunities.

“It will enhance competition in the sector too. So I posit that subsidy should be removed.”

The big question, he added, was that it was not the right time do so.

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