Rotimi Makinde Calls For Reactivation Of Petrol Depots, Protection Of Pipelines, Border Security - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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Rotimi Makinde Calls For Reactivation Of Petrol Depots, Protection Of Pipelines, Border Security

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A former member of the House of Representatives in the 7th Assembly, Hon. Rotimi Makinde has called for the reactivation of the petrol depots across the country so that there will be respite for the citizenry in their dependence for domestic, commercial and industrial consumption. 

The former lawmaker who represented Ife Federal constituency also noted that product pipelines must be properly put to use by the industry stakeholders and well policed to avoid vandalism and theft, according to him intervention like this will help to ease scarcity of the products among other challenges facing the downstream petroleum industry value chain.

In a chat with some selected senior correspondents on Friday at Capricornia hotels, a neighborhood which falls within Lagos/Ogun border at Alagbole, Makinde maintained that the Petroleum Industry Act should be activated in full swing to stem the tide of hiccups bedeviling the oil and gas sector.

According to him, “Before Nigeria moves into full deregulation of the oil and gas sector, Federal Government should ensure that all depots and facilities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPCL) are functional. Before subsidy is finally yanked off from our annual budget provision government should also ensure efficient infrastructural provision such as the railway system, to transport products from Lagos to other areas with adequate security and safety mechanism to mitigate against pipeline vandalism and oil theft. Once sabotage is addressed then every other step will be seamless and successful.

“I assure everyone, with such initiative that will make the price of the petroleum-based products to come down. That is normal; demand and supply will determine the price. The nearest the product is to all consumers, the better. That means the product will be everywhere in the country. I also expect Federal Government to activate the Petroleum Industry Act in full swing to stem the tide of hiccups bedeviling the oil and gas sector, this is the time to get it right and we must never fail.”

Makinde who was once a staff of the old NNPC for two decades equally decried Nigeria's porous borders which in his view are giving rise to smuggling of the country’s petroleum products and putting harrowing burden on the volume of consumption of the products on a daily basis with serious negative implications on the subsidy regime. 

He said;

“I have once heard NNPCL disclosed few years ago that 72.72 million litres of petrol were consumed per day, and there is an astronomical increase of this this graphically exposes the thriving activities of smugglers in the nation’s petroleum industry. 

Industry insiders have helplessly noted that they didn't expect Nigeria to consume more than 60 million litres of petrol daily and I agree with that assertion. 

“NNPCL attribute the indefensible increase to smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries because of a significant difference between petrol prices in Nigeria and the border countries. The NNPCL had corroborated this claim when it said petrol was being smuggled out of the country to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Ivory Coast. Government and other critical stakeholders need to nip this ugly trend in the bud so that there would be a breather for the petroleum industry and the citizenry. Oil marketers also need to show sincerity and patriotism by helping to break the fulcrum and support system of smuggling and other form of economic sabotage within the petroleum downstream sector. When we block all form of leakage the country will be better for it and the subsidy regime will also be justified in bringing succor to the downtrodden. 

Makinde who also spoke about safety in the distribution of petroleum products through road infrastructure also added:

“Another challenge within this value chain that bothers me greatly is the transportation of petroleum products by road truck, this creates numerous opportunities for hazardous materials to be accidentally released into the environment. Depending on the volume upon loss of containment, chemical properties, sensitivity of host environment and proximity of human presence, such releases have safety and environmental consequences. This is a great problem in Nigeria, where often towns and villages are situated very close to major roads serving as key transport corridors thereby increasing accident vulnerability. Two different perspectives are often in conflict in the transportation of petroleum products; while operators are particularly interested in profit, the regulatory agencies are interested in ensuring public and environmental safety. 

“Hence, proper accident investigation practices governed by risk assessment principles among operators and regulators are required in order to understand and prevent severe hazards posed by the dangerous properties of petroleum products transported by road. This is particularly challenging in many developing countries where data access constrain the development of risk assessments. However, I need to clarify that my intent isn't to keep anyone out of jobs but we all have to think as Nigerians who want the best for our nation.”. Any 3 or 4 with opr

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