National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has raised alarm that construction of new refineries is not the panacea for the escalating pump prices of petroleum products.
According to Mr. Elijah Okougbo, General Secretary of NUPENG, bad roads, inefficient rail transportation and other costs would still force up prices of petroleum products. He called for urgent repair of bad roads and procurement of locomotives to boost rail
transportation of petroleum products at lower costs. He spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos last week.
Okougbo also called for the repair of damaged NNPC pipelines to ensure that petroleum products were pumped from rehabilitated refineries to designated areas, ‘Since the government gave licence to independent marketers and indigenous investors to develop the downstream sector in 2002, they have been importing fuel.
“Independent marketers have one of the biggest tank farms in Apapa; that is why they can import, store and sell but the problem is taking the products across to the other states,” he said.
Okougbo said that price of petrol would have increased beyond N65 per litre if not for the Federal Government’s subsidy.
“The prices of kerosene and diesel have been
fluctuating because the government has not been subsiding them.
“We are advising the government to repair the roads, pipelines, refineries and the railways so that fuel will not sell beyond N110per litre in Lagos and N300 in other parts of the country,” he said.
Okougbo called on government to negotiate with multinational oil companies to build refineries to create jobs and stop importation of oil products.