By Chimezie Anaso
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has called on the Federal Government to take advantage of indigenous technology in addressing Nigeria’s petroleum refining challenges.
Mr Chinedu Anyaso, the Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States, said this in an interview in Awka on Tuesday while congratulating the newly-sworn in ministers.
Anyaso commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for successfully constituting his cabinet and expressed optimism that the ministers would bring greater value and direction to his administration.
He specially congratulated Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum, on his appointment, urging him to bring his experience in the petroleum industry and knowledge of the Niger Delta environment to bear in the downstream sector.
The IPMAN official said only local production of petroleum products would bring lasting solutions to the country’s energy challenges.
He said the Federal Government should profile operators of illegal refineries and open conversation with them with the aim of tapping into their technology and mainstreaming their operations.
According to him, the current state of affairs in the downstream sector is unsustainable and lack of refining capacity is making it worse.
“I expect that part of Federal Government’s immediate plan is to get our local refineries working through the fixing of the four existing refineries and encouraging establishment of modular refineries.
“The new Minister of State for Petroleum who is from the Niger Delta should encourage government to bring operators of the illegal refineries in the creeks to national grid.
“Instead of chasing them and destroying their infrastructure, government should call them to be part of the solution, at least in the short term while we wait for the main refineries to resume operations. This will reduce the pressure on foreign exchange,” he said.
Anyaso said the Federal Government should consider the call of IPMAN to use their network for Compressed Natural Gas for quicker implementation of the energy switch.
He said there should be immediate and massive conversion plants across the 36 states of the country to enable users of automobiles and generators to convert them to gas powered engines. (NAN)