By Obas Esiedesa
The National President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), an umbrella body of oil and gas suppliers nationwide, Mr Benneth Korie has said the group would work closely with the Federal Government to ensure the eradication of illegal oil bunkering and adulteration of petroleum products across the country.
A statement by NOGASA National Public Relations Officer, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, said Mr. Korie made the commitment during the association’s National Working Committee meeting in Abuja.
The group commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for ensuring availability of petroleum products in the country, and promised to improve its oil and gas supplies to different nooks and crannies to address the issue of product distribution in the nation’s energy sector.
Korie who distributed operations vehicles to the Zonal-Chairmen, recalled that President Buhari had, during his Independence Day speech, promised to remain focused on optimising revenues generated from the oil and gas sector and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“We will continue our campaign against illegal bunkering of crude oil and smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, ensuring diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty.
“Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to tackle illegal smuggling, trans-shipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country”.
He added: “In line with our operational mandate, we have given Kano, Enugu, Lagos and Benin zones Peugeot cars for their operations. This is in fulfillment of our support to government in the fight against oil pipeline vandalism.
“It is also to ensure that all our members comply with government directives on provision of adequate supply of oil and gas in the country.
“This is why we are giving out these cars to ensure effective operations of our association at the zonal levels”, he said.
He explained that although the association had been in operation, delay in its fight against vandalism was due to the need to study the oil and gas industry to achieve desired goals.
According to him, adequate arrangements have been made to organise a seminar for members of the association in a bid to chat the way forward to ensure sustainable distribution channel.
He underscored the need to ensure quality service delivery, distribution and interface with other stakeholders towards equitable distribution of oil and gas to avoid scarcity of the product across the country.
He said that the association had established a TV station, website and social media platforms to create awareness about its programmes and policies.
He thanked the government on their bid to restore railways and task them to expedite action to enable petroleum product distributed through the railways.
He said that the association have over 9500 members within one year of inception, noting however that inadequate provision of logistics, satellite depots, inadequate reservoir and ownership of oil and gas tank farms in Nigeria were major hindrances to the smooth operation of the association.