Unlawful routes for transporting petroleum merchandise have been recognized in two native authorities areas of Cross River State.
Chairman, Impartial Petroleum Entrepreneurs Affiliation of Nigeria (IPMAN), Cross River Chapter, Mr Robert Obi disclosed this when the group paid a courtesy go to to Mr George Ene-Ita, the brand new Operations Controller, Division of Petroleum Sources (DPR), Cross River Workplace.
The Chairman added that they have been informed as an affiliation to not take petroleum merchandise to shops that have been 20 kilometres to the border which they obeyed however that petroleum merchandise are continually smuggled to these shops and the neighbouring international locations.
“These routes similar to those in Akpabuyo and Ikom LGAs have turned to smuggle paths; whereas the actual entrepreneurs who do respectable enterprise are informed to not take merchandise to those shops, smugglers, take merchandise by these routes even with the large presence of Customs Officers.
The chairman lamented that the method of being a petroleum product marketer and getting a DPR licence was enormous and costly including that it was an anomaly for one to get all of the certification solely to see one other open an unlicensed and uncertified station beside yours and is promoting.
He additionally complained of the shortage of provide of Twin Objective Kerosene (DPK) and Automotive Fuel Oil (AGO) to the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) depot in Calabar however to personal tank farms within the state leaving them with just one product, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
In response to him, the NNPC tanks can be found in Calabar however have to be cleaned up and barely recalibrated to take DPK and AGO, “We had complained earlier and the Pipeline and Merchandise Advertising Firm (PPMC) promised to ship us merchandise however was informed that the Calabar depot doesn’t have sufficient storage facility.
“The Chairman of PPMC referred to as and informed me to interact with the Managing Director, Storage which I did final yr earlier than the arrival of COVID-19 however up until now, we nonetheless have points with the tanks and are nonetheless not receiving the merchandise though PPMC is able to ship us merchandise.
“We even have the problem of personal tank farms getting PMS from PPMC and promoting to us at N162 per litre; if a marketer buys PMS at N162 per litre from the tank farms, how a lot do you anticipate him to promote in his gasoline station.
“To make issues worse, officers of DPR will come to clamp down on us that we’re promoting above the permitted pump value. The correction ought to be finished on the tank farms and never the gasoline stations as a result of they’re placing us out of enterprise,” he stated.
“It’s irritating that these of us who’re registered entrepreneurs and pay heavy taxes simply to get DPR licence are usually not allowed to do enterprise due to the so many complicated situations. DPR shouldn’t simply be there to run after and penalise IPMAN members however should additionally look into their real considerations and help them to stay in enterprise,” Obi stated.
Responding, Ene-Ita stated IPMAN was an vital affiliation within the oil sector and has invested a lot in its companies, so, it was vital for DPR to help it to fulfill its goals and targets of making certain the supply of petroleum merchandise to most of the people.
He stated though, among the points raised by IPMAN don’t fall throughout the purview of DPR, it was vital to see how they could possibly be resolved as a result of if IPMAN goes out of enterprise, DPR received’t have a lot to do.
“It’s in our greatest curiosity that IPMAN stays not simply in enterprise however profitably in enterprise. Though a couple of of the problems are usually not inside our jurisdiction, we are going to take them earlier than the administration, in order that, at that stage, there might be an institutional assembly level amongst related businesses.
“Additionally, we are going to interact our safety businesses to help in curbing these unlawful cross border smuggling of Petroleum merchandise,” Ene-Ita stated.