Petroleum products marketers, under the aegis of Natural Oil And Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, has announced plans to partner with the Federal Government to end unnecessary fuel crisis, illegal oil bunkering and products adulteration in the country.
Speaking after its Board of Trustees Meeting in Abuja, Deputy Chairman of NOGASA, Mr. Abdullahi Idris, said the association also aims to unify petroleum suppliers across the country and also develop their capacities to enable the marketers withstand the challenges in the industry.
He said, "We also aim to clean up the system very well, especially the challenges in the system. We are doing this through educating our members, especially on the need for the removal of adulterated products and also to bring sanity in the system.
"We are tired of the complaints of low quality and scarcity issues in the country; diversion of product outside. Also, a lot of people do not have the knowledge on how to trade in oil and gas.
"We have observed that our members just go to register their companies, go and build stations, start supplying products to companies and agencies without even knowing how DPR works about quality checks; not knowing how the country works with the refineries issue; even the source of supply is a problem; and delivery is also a problem.
"Hence, we have promised to educate ourselves very well and support our members and government also."
Idris blamed the fuel crisis situation on distribution challenges, noting that sometimes, government undertakes distribution on zoning, without much knowledge of the various destinations where such individuals take the products.
He added that, "The reason for forming the association is to help understand the pattern of distribution, so that everything would be in place.
"The responsibility of government today is becoming too much, simply because Government has no support. Everybody is working in silos; but with the unity that our association brings, government would be supported, to guide the sector properly.
"With proper guidance, scarcity would be no more. What happens previously that caused scarcity is one problem or the other, because even the NNPC needed to be advised. They cannot just advise themselves being in the office; they need people practicalising the trade on the ground to advice them.
We are going to create a free hand for everybody to come and be part of the association, because oil and gas in Nigeria business today is going down. Today, it is subsidy issue, or no subsidy ; people do not even understand the subsidy issue. Many people do not even understand how it works. Either subsidy is working or not, we should understand it and tell the people the way forward. That is why we are forming the association.
Also speaking, Secretary of the Board of NOGASA, Mr. Edison Nwosu, said nomination forms for the association's upcoming election would be out next week, adding that inauguration of new executive would take place July 21.
Nwosu lamented that members of the association in some states are owed over N300 million by industries, construction companies, states and individuals.
He said the association was doing everything possible to help the indebted suppliers recoup their investment while liaising with banks to support them with loans.