Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has revealed that three private refinery operators have indicated interest to start operations in the state just as he warned oil marketers against contravening the miscellaneous code which he said, is punishable by law.
He also advocated for the liberalization of the petroleum downstream sector to make room for an inter play of market forces, which he said would regulate the cost of Petroleum products for the consuming public.
Mr. Emmanuel stated this during the monthly prayer meeting at the Latter House Chapel, Government House, Uyo.
Governor Emmanuel was speaking against the backdrop of artificial scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS) created by the marketers, who have shut down their stations and in the process, deny motorists and the consuming public, access to the product.
“Petroleum marketers are hoarding fuel on the pretext that the just concluded National Economic Council would push for the removal of Petroleum Subsidy. Let me clarify that during our last meeting, even at the Governor’s Forum, subsidy issues were not deliberated. If at all it will be removed, it’s not going to be immediately, so there’s no point hoarding fuel hoping that subsidy will be removed for them to enjoy super abnormal profits”.
“Let’s not take things to the extreme. Yesterday no station was open in the state. I am of the view that if subsidy is removed, the interplay of market forces will bring down the price to where it should be”.
“At present, landing cost of crude oil in the current market price is seventy eight naira, with liberalization anybody can come in, refine and sell the product. This way, the product will be cheaper, so I want to see the stations opened”, Gov. Emmanuel said.