By Aisha Cole
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Review of Pump Price of Petrol has called on private marketers of petrol to sell at the government-regulated price.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Raphael Igbokwe, made the call during an oversight visit to Liquid Bulk Ltd., Conoil, DELMAR Petroleum Company Ltd. and some other petrol marketers in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
Igbokwe (PDP-Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte) said that the marketers should put national interest above other interests and remain efficient in spite challenges associated with petrol business.
He commended Liquid Bulk Ltd. for installing a 40-million-litre petrol tank as well as bringing the facility nearer to the people for easy distribution of the product.
According to him, it is important that government attention is drawn to the facility that has a large storage capacity.
Igbokwe also noted that the company was selling the product at the controlled price.
“The committee’s effort is to ensure that PMS (petrol) is available at the controlled price.
“We know that as at today government is absorbing some costs, while some marketers are still selling above the controlled price.
“Government announced an increase of one naira allowance for tanker drivers after a strike.
“Our committee acted immediately and engaged Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on the one naira differential it brought into transporting PMS (Premium Motor Spirit).
“It was clear that the one naira was the savings the drivers made from lightering service,” Igbokwe said.
He said that the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) had reflected the one naira in its demand notice to the marketers, which made some marketers to raise complaint.
Igbokwe urged PPPRA to engage stakeholders on issues concerning the adjustment made for tanker drivers, saying that the adjustment was in the interest of petroleum marketers.
He said that the government was making efforts to engage private partners to revamp refineries.
The lawmaker said that NNPC and its subsidiaries engaged in 90 per cent sourcing of petrol, while private marketers engaged in 10 per cent of the processes of bringing PMS into the country.
He, however, urged the NNPC and its subsidiaries to encourage private marketers to remain in petrol business.
The chairman stressed the need for continuous collaboration of the executive and legislative arms of government to serve Nigerians better and reduce burdens on them.
Responding, the Port Harcourt Depot Manager of Liquid Bulk Ltd., Mr Onyekachi Ogbonna, noted that the company which was established in 2016, had a storage capacity of 40 million litres.
Ogbonna urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to further dredge the channels between the port and Liquid Bulk Terminal in Rivers to enable the company to receive bigger vessels to reduce cost of doing business.
The Group Business Executive, Master Energy Company, Mr Cashier Onuoha, said that the company had 3.57 million litres of PMS in store.
He said that the company sourced the product through the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
The Assistant Plant Manager, Conoil Depot, Port Harcourt, Mr Abdul Mojeed, said that the company also purchased the product through PPMC.
Mojeed said that truckers picked the petrol directly from PPMC depot based on the company’s directive.