Stakeholders in the oil sector have assured that the prevailing crisis in the energy sector would soon end with the return of operations at the Port Harcourt Refinery, Rivers State in January.
The national President and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of NOGASA, Mr Kenneth Korie and his PETROAN counterpart, Dr. Billy Harry, who spoke after the inauguration of Akwa Ibom State chapters of the two industry regulatory bodies Uyo, on Tuesday said they were optimistic that the prices of petroleum products would crash when the refineries begin to function.
Korie, who blamed the current hike in prices of the products on importation, said rehabilitation and upgrade of the refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri, which he said works have reached advanced stages, remain the sure way of collapsing the prices of the products.
Leadership quoted him as saying, “Yes, of course there is hope. The GMD NNPC has given assurance concerning that before the National Assembly. In all my talks, I have been hammering on the Port Harcourt Refinery to come on steam.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that there will be a serious reduction in the price of petroleum products as soon as our four refineries, including the Dangote Refinery, come up. But we should not expect the price to come down like it was before, because of the high exchange rate, but it will be a bit lower than what it is now.”
Similarly, the national president of PETROAN, Dr Billy Harry, described the inauguration of the two associations as unique, adding that it is the first time in the annals of the history of the downstream sector for such to happen.
He said it is only when the two groups work together and act together that they would be able to overcome the challenges in the sector and ensure that Nigeria returns to the time when petroleum products is sold at a price that a common man can afford.
He expressed that “what we are doing today is unique, it’s epic and it’s the first in the annals of the history of the downstream sector. We are going to make it unique throughout the country because together we can make sure that the importation of petroleum products is reduced to the barest minimum.”
“Together we can make sure that our refineries are working again, together we can get back to the time when petroleum products are sold at what the common man could afford.
“They say in Nigeria, anything that goes up will not come down again, but I can tell you with the synergy that is coming from retail outlet owners and the suppliers’ association of Nigeria, this is going to be something that is going to change the landscape of the economy and the economic activities of the downstream, so take this meeting as history,” he assured.
However, in his acceptance speech, the new state chairman of NOGASA, Mr Sam Osung, promised to partner with the state government and the security agencies to mitigate irregularities and other unwholesome practices within the supply and distribution chain.
He said “It’s my pleasure that today I am being considered the chairman of NOGASA in Akwa Ibom State, which is the fastest growing stakeholders’ agency. I am going to do this job with passion, determination and commitment.
“We will partner with the state government, the regulatory agencies representing the federal government, the service chiefs and all security agencies available to mitigate irregularities within the downstream supply and distribution chain.”