Oil marketers have said local refining will save at least N70 per litre off petrol price when it is fully operational.

The National Controller Operations, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi, said this while speaking on the benefits of the Federal Government investing in functional refineries.

He told The PUNCH on Wednesday, that although the contracts for revamping of refineries had been awarded, it would be a great development for repairs to be completed as soon as possible, to ease the stress and huge finance of importation on the country.

He said, “The contract has been awarded already before the new government came into office. IPMAN doesn’t know the context of the contract, but if the refineries are working, it would cut freight and ship-to-ship transfer costs.

“Not less than N60/N70 per litre will be off if the refineries start working.”

He listed other benefits of operational local refining as reduction in insurance costs, reduction in product delivery time, and increase in employment.

According to him, “Cost of insurance would reduce, and then if we keep importing, it takes about 30 days for ships to arrive in Nigeria and we would have to pay for hiring the vessel.

“But if we refine in the country, products would arrive within one day.  There will also be more jobs for the masses. It’s a lot of benefits.”

A former Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Chairman/Chief Executive of 11 Plc, Tunji Oyebanji, said marketers did not prefer products importation over local production.

“We want local refineries to work because we don’t enjoy importing,” he said.

Nigeria still relied heavily on petrol importation due to lack of functional local refineries.

Since removal of subsidies on May 29, prices of petrol had shot up tremendously, rising from about N198/N200 per litre to N617 per litre.

Local consumption has since dropped by 30 per cent from 66 million litres per day recorded before subsidies removal.

National President, IPMAN, Chinedu Oknokwo, during the House of Representatives Public Hearing held on Tuesday, said in proffering solutions to the animated social problems of pump price increase of petroleum products, there was need to quickly adopt the global alternative clean energy concept of Compressed Natural Gas.

According to him, CNG would help in powering homes, public and official and private establishments with very minimal costs when compared with other costs.

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