By Daniel Alfred
THE Executive secretary of the petroleum product price regulating agency (PPPRA), Mr Abiodun Ibikunle has said that N300billion fuel subsidy has been payed to major marketers and the independent marketers since August last year.
Abiodun said this last week during an inspection tour of depots in Lagos, belonging to Folawiyo Energy Limited, MRS oil and Gas and capital oil and gas limited, stating that the payment was part of the governments effort to ensure steady supply of fuel in the country.
Therefore, the PPPRA scribe however stated that the agency still has an outstanding N27billion to pay to the marketers.
Government is concerned that money which should be spent on the provision of facilities for essential service are being spent on subsidy which is also pushing for deregulation, stating that it is pointless if this huge amount is paid and the basics facilities are not put in place which will end up in deregulation exercise.
â€œBetween August and now we have spent close to N300billion fuel subsidy. The business is a contineous one and as at last week Thursday, we have processed all submission that came in and that is about 27billion. It is still receiving attention in the ministry of finance. As soon as it is approved it will be paid.
Some of the submission later came in last week and as soon as we are through with it we will foward it to the ministry of finance for approval, Abiodun said.
Furthermore, the cahrman of the PPPRA, Dr Ahmadu Ali opined that the federal government is ready to partner with any corporate or private companies to build regfineries in the country and called on all companies to take due advantage of the reform in the oil industry to build refineries.
He also stated that Nigeria being one of the biggest oil countries in the world had no reason to be allowed in fuel scarcity. Despite the building of refineries we have to praise these oil companies and encourage them to build refineries.â€ he said
He added â€œ The cause of the problem is that we are operating in democracy and that it is an economic rime to get products and keep it away from the reach of the masses.
The only solution to this scarcity is the building of refineries. What we need is a little bit of orientation. There are actually product in Atlasco and if anything actually happens to Atlasco, it means we are really in big trouble. We need to put a state of act to the unruly act of our behaviour in terms of vandalisation. We need more refineries, that is why we are imploring business men to invest in refineries,â€ He said.
He further said that this issue of vandalism can be put into place if we really put a stop to our physical ability in trying to detect these vandals. Therefore, he suggested that the use of electronic gadgets to detect pipelines that are really in danger and that way these pipelines will be properly monitored and vandalisers will be apprehended in due course.
Enginneer Ajibo, Depot manager also affirmed vandalism as the core issue, stating that NNPC loads average of 120/140 trucks and that they on monthly basis makes up to 8billion naira from the NNPC depot facilities.
Ahmadu Ali concluded by saying that governments failure has contributed to the failure of our refineries.