Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has urged the Federal Government to give more licences to marketers to ensure availability of Household Kerosene (HHK) in the country.
Okoronkwo, who gave the advice in an interview on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the new N83 pump price for kerosene was a good development in the right direction.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA) on Jan. 24, in its pricing template increased the price of HHK from N50 to N83. The PPPRA said the increase was in line with the price modulation announced by the minister.
“The truth is that this government is showing a level of sincerity; we now know how much the product is bought and how much it should be sold.
“IPMAN has seen a level of sincerity and so, we commend the effort,’’ he said. Okoronkwo, however, stressed the need for government to ensure availability of the products in the benefit of the consumers.
He called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to issue more licences to marketers to enable them to import and circulate the product. He said government should issue licences to encourage people build mini refineries.
According to him, this will go a long way to improve on the nation’s economy and bring about development in the oil and gas sector. Meanwhile, mixed reactions had trailed the new pump price for HHK by some consumers and retailers.
Some consumers said it was a good development while others said that it would infringe more hardship on the poor masses. Mrs Agnes Idema, a trader, said that kerosene was being sold at N120 even when the official pump price was N50, expressing fears that it would go higher.
“Right now I buy kerosene at N120 per litre, from sellers who spend days at NNPC fuel stations to get the product for N50. “ I hope it will not make it more expensive,’’ she lamented.
Idema called on government to ensure the availability of the products so that people can buy at the official price from all fuel stations. Mr Martins Chukwu a civil servant, said the plan by government to modulate the price of Kerosene was commendable.
“I think what government has done is to remove subsidy paid on HHK; this will save some money for the government. Mrs Amina Yusuf, a widow, said “if the price is N83 and I find it to buy, that will be very good.
“Right now, I use soar dust to cook; it is cheaper for me because I cannot afford to buy kerosene,’’ she said. She called on government to ensure that its policy did not infringe more suffering on ordinary Nigerians.