House of Representatives committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) has advocated the use of Micro Finance Banks to end scarcity of kerosene in the country. It expressed worry over the scarcity of the product and urged the major stakeholders in oil and gas industry to involve micro finance banks across the country in distribution of the product.
The committee members while interacting with stakeholders at Calabar Free Trade Zone, decried the activities of middlemen in the industry and suggested the intervention of micro finance banks to reduce prices of kerosene.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, its chairman, Dr. Joseph Akinlaja, commended stakeholders for safety measures taken so far and suggested how to make kerosene affordable, unadulterated and manageable, especially intervening through the micro finance banks on the product distribution. Akinlaja said: “We came here to assess and see how kerosene can be affordable to all at high quality and low price.”
“We commend the depots for their planed investment in hydro-carbon because the future of Nigeria depends on gas. Well CFTZ is an asset to the Nigeria’s economic development. We have come to know why kerosene is expensive and also come to ask the players –those in supply and distribution-in the industry what way forward. We are actually concerned with kerosene explosion as a result of no fault of theirs.”
“We have identified a whole lot of problem ranging from haulage, distribution to surface tanks issues. And we want to see how these challenges can be reduced to a minimal level”.
Welcoming the Committee, the Managing Director of Fyn Field Fynefield, Petroleum, Mr. Akshay Saxena, said since cardinal points of the Committee visits is to make sure the right price of kerosene gets to the consumer in quality and at cheaper rate, it is important that we understand the system first.
Saxena explained that between the time of depots’ sells and distribution to the surface tanks owners, there are lots of price differentials in between, adding that most people who retail this product, DPK, are mostly surface tanks owners sometimes who sells in large quantity more than filling stations. According to him, most of retailers of kerosene are mostly house wives, little business women and men who can sell between 5, 000 and 10, 000 litres of kerosene but cannot stock up their tanks as they don’t have enough money to pay in bulk to suppliers.