The North-west chapter Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Lawan Mohammed Danzaki, has claimed that corruption is solely responsible for the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and that importing oil should be the business of the Federal Government.
Speaking to the media in Kano on Tuesday, Danzaki said those importing oil into the country are completely hijacking the business to suit their primordial interests, adding that the oil imported at present “ended up in the hands of black marketers” who had been excessively profiting from the shady deals.
According to him, 70 percent of the filling stations across the country were owned by independent oil marketers. He lamented that the greatest chunk of the oil coming into country goes to the black marketers, who in turn dispose it at an exorbitant price.
"If the Federal Government finally takes the responsibility of importing oil then the price would be absolutely controlled, the antics of the major marketers would be curtailed, and it would be known that we the independent marketers are not the ones responsible for hiking the prices at our will." he said.
"If the oil is readily made available to us, there is no reason for the price to go up. Sometimes you can even see our fuel attendants calling people to come and buy fuel but in a situation like this, the major oil marketers are the one making matters worse" he added.
On the issue of subsidy, Danzaki called for the removal of the subsidy on petroleum products saying it is “counter productive for the Federal Government to enrich some egocentric individuals in the name of subsidy.” He pointed out that if the federal government fully concentrated on the business of importing oil, the corruption would be nipped in the bud.
He also called for the urgent resuscitation of all the moribund refineries in the country for crude oil to be refined locally in addition to scrapping the Petroleum Price Regulatory Agency (PPRA), as it lacked the legitimacy to decide the fate of petroleum products in the market.
Danzaki who also stressed the need for the scrapping of all NNPC's mega station in the country said “it is quite inappropriate for the Federal Government to introduce the stations since it had agreed to privatize all the major oil companies.”