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States can’t take over downstream regulatory role, says IPMAN



The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has cautioned Southeast governors against their attempt to take over the role of the regulator of downstream petroleum operations in the region.

The association condemned the invasion of marketers’ outlets by state governments in the guise of enforcing fuel prices and monitoring oil dispensing machines at filing stations.

IPMAN Chairman at Enugu Depot, who is also in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, Mr. Chinedu Anyaso, stated this while addressing reporters yesterday in Awka, the Anambra State capital.He urged the governors to call their aides to order to avoid having a collision with IPMAN.

The union leader explained that the state governments lacked either the standardised and approved equipment to measure accuracy of dispensing machines or the powers to supervise downstream petroleum operations.

He said: “IPMAN Enugu Depot condemns the invasion of our filling stations. The Anambra State government did it and we protested. But …the Enugu State government is doing the same thing with a deliberate effort to blackmail some of our members.“This is sheer overzealousness on the part of some aides of governors. We call on our governors to call these people to order to avoid putting IPMAN on a collision course with state governments.”Anyaso stressed that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) remained the only constitutionally empowered body to regulate the downstream sector operations of the oil industry.

The union chief stressed that states are free to work with IPMAN, if they so wished.

“State governments are not empowered to carry out regulatory functions over downstream operators. They lack the expertise. The seraphim bottles they are using are not certified to have been properly calibrated.

“NMDPRA is the only body empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), (through) Section 48 (1), to carry out all the regulatory activities in the sector,” he said.

Stressing that the association was not absolving its members of sharp practices, the IPMAN chief urged state governments to collaborate with NMDPRA, established by Federal Government to supervise the sector, if the need becomes necessary.

“IPMAN is not by any means saying that all our members are free from malpractice. We are not holding brief for them either. All we are saying is that things should be done properly by the appropriate authority.

“NMDPRA has offices in almost all the states, so state governments should work with them. On our part, IPMAN has a task force as an internal mechanism to check infractions by our members,” Anyaso added.