By Ita Abasi
Calabar, Nigeria – Newly elected Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, Calabar Depot, Comrade Robert Obi, has called on the federal government to explore viable options to get the moribund refineries functional in order to boost economic growth.
Comrade Obi, who spoke shortly after assuming office as the substantive IPMAN chairman of Calabar Depot, stated that the continuous importation of petroleum products constitutes a steady drain on the economy, given the escalating pressure on the naira, which has been attributed to the country’s import-oriented economic status.
“It’s a terrible misnomer that Nigeria, the fifth largest oil-producing country in the world, cannot boast of a functional refinery, but rather depends on imported petroleum products for survival,” Obi lamented. “We have eggheads in the industry who can change the narrative given the right political backing.”
“I want to appeal to President Tinubu to put necessary measures in place to reactivate the dormant refineries to put an end to the perennial stress of fuel scarcity due to imported fuel,” he added.
Obi emphasized that the economic wastage associated with the current practice cannot be overemphasized. “We can’t continue this way,” he asserted.
The new IPMAN boss extended an olive branch to aggrieved members of the group, promising to run an inclusive administration to ensure peace and stability in Calabar Depot.
He described the task ahead of the new executive as enormous but surmountable and pleaded for unity and cooperation from key stakeholders, notably Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), Petroleum Station Workers (PSW), Independent Marketers Workers (IMB), and Oil/Gas OGS, to propel IPMAN to new heights.
Speaking on behalf of the National Chairman of IPMAN, Alhaji Ahmed Debo, the national legal adviser, Mr. Micheal Udofia, said with the emergence of Obi, the internal wrangling that rattled IPMAN Calabar Depot has been put to rest.
In his remarks, the chairman of the electoral committee, Sir Michael Udofia, posited that the outcome of the election reflected the resolve of key players in the sector to reposition IPMAN to regain lost glory.
The twelve-member executive is expected to run the affairs of the body for the next three years.