According to the Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Sunny Nkpe, Nigeria is constantly plagued with fuel crises because it’s not using its refineries.
Nkpe disclosed this on Monday, May 25, 2015, during a telephone interview with Pulse.
The IPMAN Chairman stated further that Nigeria’s refineries can produce 50-60% of the fuel the country needs but they’ve been shut down for more than a year.
“We have refineries that can refine 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day, that’s millions of litres of refined product,” he said.
“Why are we not using the refineries? Let them use the refineries,” Nkpe said.
An industry insider, who chose to remain anonymous, told Pulse that the relevant government agencies refuse to use the local refineries to produce the country’s needs because there’s much more money to be fraudulently gotten from importing the product.
“They are knowingly boycotting the refineries,” she said. “They make more money with importation due to corruption and fraud,” she added.
The fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria has come to be viewed as a huge scam, a notion buttressed by the 2014 arrest of 121 suspects, who were believed to have benefited from it, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The current scarcity is said to be an artificial creation of the marketers in attempts to force the government to pay the remaining subsidy debt it owes them before a new administration is inaugurated on May 29, 2015.
Meanwhile, the marketers have called of their strike and are expected to begin supplying product nationwide to end the scarcity.
However, until the real problems causing the scarcity are resolved, Nigerians are left asking how long it will be before the next crisis occurs.