The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the federal government to allow illegal refineries to operate in full capacity in Niger Delta, saying it will reduce the incident of pipeline vandalisation.
The group also added that it will give room for job opportunities for the youths in the region.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja, Chairman, National Task Force on Anti-pipeline Vandalisation, Petroleum Product Adulteration and Monitoring, IPMAN, Asika Ajuluchukwu, urged the government to provide operational guidelines for local refineries, rather than destroying them.
“Since the government has failed in their capacity to make the refineries work and these young men are producing millions of barrels of crude oil, I think it is high time the government come out openly to partner with them. Government should legalise their activities, instead of destroying their camps, they should be taught how to refine properly,” he said.
On how the activities of illegal bunkers affect IPMAN’s operation, Ajuluchukwu noted that products refined by the illegal refinery operators are sold cheaper in the market, thereby attracting more patronage.
“Also, their activities cause a bad reputation for us. One of our cardinal principles is our members must conduct their business according to the extant laws. That is the essence of the task force, to checkmate our members as we don’t hesitate to report our members who commit a heinous crime against the economy,” he added.
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