NOGASA decries absence of NMDPRA licensed laboratory in Akwa Ibom

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By John Silas

Akwa Ibom State Council of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has decried the absence of Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) licensed Laboratory in Akwa Ibom.

The group which made their intentions known in a press release signed by Comrade Sam Osung, Chairman Akwa Ibom State Council, NOGASA added that the Suppliers are losing their capital and running into debt as a result of the situation.

The release read in part: “It is a sad reality that there’s no NMDPRA licensed Laboratory in Akwa Ibom to aide and ensure speed in the investigation of quality by the security agencies. 

“The Suppliers are losing their capital and running into debt, most of us are running out of business, most industrial organizations halt their operations as a result of delay in the supply of petroleum products.

The situation, according to NOGASA, is even worse when Security agencies would intercept a products they feel should be subjected to parameter analysis, the analysis process would take days because there is no hydrocarbon laboratory in the entire Akwa Ibom. “We don’t have hydrocarbon laboratory in the entire Akwa Ibom, so they send the sample to places like Port Harcourt, Enugu, and other places outside Akwa Ibom.

“By the time the certificate of Quality is out the supplier has already lost his call out from the purchasing company, most of the parameters depreciate in quality, the quantity reduces as a result of evaporation, the price eventually drops from maybe #1500 to about #1400 depending on Foreign exchange and other factors regulating the price. That ₦100 difference multiply by about 50,000 litres being full truck is millions, how about haulage fee because the truck is hired from a different company all together. And the security agencies will release the product after that process and no one talks about the differential.” 

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Comrade Sam Osung said that it has become a matter of concern as it is capable of causing artificial scarcity and breakdown in industrial activities as well as price hike therefore making the end users (common man) the end losers.

He added that the people are running out of business, servicing loans and losing capital to this unfortunate situation. He disclosed that others are gradually withdrawing their services and “If there’s no measure to control this we will wake up one morning to realize that petroleum products suppliers have withdrawn their services in Akwa Ibom.

“I pray it doesn’t get to that, the Government should think of setting up hydrocarbon laboratory to assist the security agencies do their Job without inconveniencing the business/ industrial community.

“This is a worrying issue among suppliers and the public deserves to know the unpalatable experience the dynamics of time has subjugated the suppliers to in this industry,” he stated. 

He said “We all know that the petroleum industry is a critical component of our national economy hence the interest of the security/ relevant agencies in ensuring an enabling environment for legitimate activities to thrive as well as intentional efforts to mitigate unwholesome activities  within the downstream supply and distribution chain

“We must as a matter of necessity commend the security agencies especially those operating in Akwa Ibom because their efforts has truly excluded Akwa Ibom among the States with records of various illicit practice in the sector

“Our members are unhappy maybe as a result of the inconveniences occasioned by the activities of some overzealous components of our security operatives. 

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“The industry is dynamic and I implore the security agencies to not ignore the changes brought by policies formulated by the Government regulators in the industry. 

“We all know that some petroleum products especially AGO has been deregulated as a result of subsidy removal, what that means is that prices are now determined by certain factors not excluding Foreign Exchange, landing cost and haulage logistics and others.

“I am in total support of the efforts of the security agencies to ascertain the quality and source of every petroleum products in Akwa Ibom because I believe that the end users deserve value of quality,” he said.

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