Uche Cecil Izuora
The Federal Government has called for stronger private sector collaboration to ensure effective petroleum products distribution across the country.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said stakeholders in the oil sector should therefore support the Federal Government effort toward the dredging of the Calabar channel.
Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director, Distribution System, Storage, Retail and Infrastructure of the Authority, during an inspection visit to tank farms operating in the Calabar depot, said on Monday that the dredging would allow for bigger vessels to berth with petroleum product with a view to meet the storage capacity of the depot.
According to him, the oil marketers have identified dredging as one of their major concerns limitating the supply of petroleum product to their facilities at the jetty.
He disclosed that the peak consumption period for petroleum product in Nigeria was between November to January, hence the need to stabilise and ensure a seamless supply and distribution of the product.
“The draft of the Calabar channel was one of the concerns raised by oil marketers; due to this, they have to wait for the tide to come high before bringing in their vessels.
“With dredging, we can do more so that bigger vessels can come in because they have the capacity for storage.
“The oil marketers have also raised the issue of multiple regulation by different agencies; we will look into the issues and engage with other stakeholders because the Petroleum Industry Act is very clear, we are domiciled as the priority.
“It is very important that we do this and be mindful of the outcome of the pump price on the end users,” he said.
Ukoha, who was accompanied by the Operations Controller, Calabar Field Office of NMDPRA, Mr George Ene-Ita, and other staff, inspected the Dozzy oil and Gas depot and Ammasco petroleum chemicals company.
Other depots visited include; Hyde tanks and terminals, North West Petroleum, Fynfield Petroleum, Sobaz oil, Alkanes Petroleum and Gas, jetties among others.