The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Sunday said it is discussing with foreign partners to refine and import premium motor spirit (petrol) and kerosene without government subsidy.
IPMAN’s National Secretary, Danladi Pasali, said in Abuja that if approved by government, the initiative would save Nigeria huge funds, until local refining capacity is improved upon.
Nigeria currently consumes about 35 million litres of PMS, but only 30 percent of that is refined by the four local refineries operating at full capacity.
The Federal Government last month said it has paid about N500 billion to oil marketers in the past six months.
Pasali said the initiative was developed by the new executives of IPMAN led by Chinedu Okoronkwo to help the present administration reduce cost in subsidy payment, while meeting the product demand of the country.
“We urge the Buhari administration to support IPMAN in mobilising our foreign partners in importing petroleum products at no cost or without subsidies payment to government,” Pasali said.
“We have done all our mathematics that through our new model of Crude Oil SWAP arrangement; we can wet the country with petrol and kerosene and still gain from the transactions”, he stated.
He explained that the association, on the long run, would construct two brand new refineries in the country with 400,000 barrel refining capacity with Blue Oil International.
Pasali also revealed that Okoronkwo is in Lagos to monitor the distribution of products to enable its members wipe out the scarcity of PMS in the country.
IPMAN members operate over 20,000 filling stations in the country.
Meanwhile, industry experts argue that unless petroleum products are refined locally the landing cost of petrol, if not subsidised, might be too high for Nigerians to bear.
An industry source told Daily Independent that though the landing cost of petrol varies, it currently hovers between N135 and N137.
For instance, President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Achese Igwe, argued that unless the Federal Government evolves efforts to refine petroleum products and put the nation’s refineries in good shape, scarcity of fuel would persist in the country.
Igwe advocated the need to remove fuel subsidy and deregulate the downstream sector, saying that it was a shame that Nigeria continually import petroleum products despite its large hydrocarbon deposit, blaming the past and present leaders for the endemic corruption in the downstream nation’s sector.