The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has cautioned the Anambra State Government to shelve its plans for a State Petroleum Committee to monitor activities in the downstream subsector in the state.

The Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, said this while speaking to journalists in Awka on Monday.

Anyaso was reacting to a statement by the state Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Anthony Ifeanya, which quoted him as saying he was waiting for Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s approval to set up the committee.

Ifeanya had said the committee would monitor compliance with petroleum products’ quality and price by filling station outlets in Anambra.

But the IPMAN chairman said the creation of the committee would cause confusion and duplicate functions.

He said the rules and standards in the sector were set and monitored by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority of the Federal Government.

He said NMDPRA was empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act to approve, license, monitor, regulate activities in the sector and whoever had complaints should channel it to the authority.

Anyaso stresses that marketers in the state had held meetings with the commissioner but the issue of the petroleum committee had never been discussed.

He said, “Marketers in Anambra have drawn my attention to the news that the Anambra government through the commissioner is planning to set up a petroleum committee which will monitor price and quality of products.

“IPMAN wants to advise that there is no need for that, section 48(1) of PIA empowers NWDPRA to solely supervise activities of marketers and they have capacity to do their work, such committees by states will create confusion.”

Anyaso said the government should develop the industry by working with marketers on easing the challenge of procuring products by collaborating with other states to revitalise the moribund Enugu Depot which had not functioned for about 15 years.

He said the problem of pricing of products was beyond state governments and that the increase could only be addressed by Federal Government and its agencies.

“For instance, how can Anambra government enforce petrol at N165 per litre when we are buying N168 per litre at the depot, N2 for loading and about N12 for transportation, landing cost is about N183 per litre. We don’t need additional confusion,” he added.

By Tochi

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