IPMAN advises FG on how to curb pipeline vandalism
Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged Federal Government to allow illegal refineries to operate rather than destroy them.
The move, the association said, would not only end pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta but would also create job opportunities for youths in the region.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, National Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalisation, Petroleum Product Adulteration and Monitoring, IPMAN, Asika Ajuluchukwu, urged the government to provide operational guidelines for local refineries, rather than destroying them.
Ajuluchukwu, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Nwozuzu Chigozie, observed that in spite of the destruction of local refineries and branding of them illegal, they still exist.
Noting that most times, security agencies either turn a blind eye or actively profit from the illegal oil trade, Ajuluchukwu argued that such refineries should be licensed by the Federal Government and taxes are taken from them.
He added that legalising their activities would also help in curbing cases of fire outbreaks across the country.
He said: “Since the government has failed in their capacity to make the refineries work and these young men are producing millions of barrels of crude oil, I think it is high time government came out openly to partner with them. Government should legalise their activities, instead of destroying their camps, they should be thought how to refine properly,” he stated.
On how the activities of illegal bunkers affect IPMAN’s operation, Ajuluchukwu noted that products refined by the illegal refinery operators are sold cheaper in the market, thereby attracting more patronage.
“Also, their activities cause a bad reputation for us. One of our cardinal principles is our members must conduct their business according to the extant laws. That is the essence of the task force, to checkmate our members as we don’t hesitate to report our members who commit a heinous crime against the economy,” he added.