By Victor Ahiuma-Young
IBADANâ€” Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, said yesterday that the downstream sector of the nationâ€™s petroleum industry was characterised by epileptic and inadequate supply of products leading to adulteration and other sharp practices, resulting into hardship on Nigerians.
Speaking at the beginning of a 3-day workshop on â€œOil Industry Reforms: Challenges for Stakeholdersâ€, organised by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Lagos zone, said recently four out of five samples of petrol stations in Ibadan were discovered to contain 70% kerosene adulteration.
Represented by his Commissioner for Industry, Applied Science and Technoloy, Dr. Nureni Aderemi Adeniran, he said: â€œThe downstream activities were characterised by epileptic and inadequate supply of products leading to adulteration and other sharp practices, resulting into hardship on Nigerians.
Just last month the Department of Applied Science and Technology in State Ministry of Industry, Applied Science and Technology took samples of diesel sold to the public from five filling stations within Ibadan metropolis to Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, NICLT, Samonda, Ibadan for testing.
Amazingly four out of the five samples indicated up to 70% kerosene adulteration. (ii)Â Â Â low capacity utilization by refineries which increased the unit cost of operations; (iii)Â Â poor infrastructure in refineries (iv)Â Â inadequate price margin to take care of design, maintenance and operation costs; and (v)Â Â Â undercutting of Government subsidy on petroleum products through smuggling especially to neighbouring countries.
The supposed efficacy to this national ailment through importation of refined petroleum products has rather compounded the problem rather than solved it. Other measures taken by Government such as appointment of a new management to NNPC and its empowerment to function effectively and rehabilitation, refurbishment and repair of the refineries as well as, monitoring of the products pipeline system have not had any visible impact.â€
â€œDistinguished participants and stakeholders in the Oil Sector, the challenges for this workshop is to come up with measures that will be adopted to make the petroleum sector internationally competitive to attract investors and solve the problem of the sector.
Such specific measures that will include substantial domestication of oil technology through measurable policy programmes and encouragement of more indigenous participation in the oil industry should be adopted. Moreover, it is quite ideal for this forum to review existing incentives to sustain competition and encourage investment, in addition to an improved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) acceptable to all stakeholders in the industry.
Government on its own part should adopt policies to increase local content and value addition in the oil industry. The result of the scientific investigation carried out by Department of Science and Technology in my State is an eye opener to the deplorable level of our national integrity, and it is a challenge to all stakeholders to ensure a refining of our national psyche.
It is my sincere and honest belief that your association will endeavour to collaborate and co-operate with other stakeholders to ensure regular and constant supply of petroleum products to the Nigerian Community because of the multiplier effect of such action on other economic sectors. This will avert a situation whereby Nigerian people will be suffering in the midst of plenty.â€