By Ogar Veronica,
CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Ministry of Petroleum.

The Cross River State Commissioner for Paetroleum,Rt. Hon. Itaya Asuquo. Nyong has expressed his Ministry's preparedness to collaborate with the Cross River State Branch of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and other related Stakeholders in the Petroleum sector to enforce compliance on the local content policy by the Tank Farm Operators and other related bodies involved in both upstream, midstream and downstream businesses of the energy sector.

Rt. Hon Nyong disclosed this when the Executive Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN)Calabar Depot paid him a courtesy call in his office in Calabar,adding that the decision to synergize with stakeholders is long over due as it could not have come at a better time than now.

The Petroleum Commissioner applauded the IPMAN team for their records of achievement within a short  time, assuring them that there is hope for IPMAN in Cross River State as the government through the Ministry of Petroleum will do all within its mandate to provide an enabling environment for smooth business operations

He further reminded the Association that Calabar Depot is the smallest yet the  busiest,emphasizing that the Depot was created to serve Cross River and Akwa Iboom States as such the two States should be their priority in terms of products distribution.

He re-assured them on  their critrical challenges, amd averred that insecurity affects the nation as a whole while the State is doing a lot to checkmate illegal activities in the sector and called for all hands to be on deck if the menace  must be addressed.

Hon Nyong pointed out that  plans are on the way by the State government to harmonize all Petroleum levies and tasked the Association to ensure that their internal crises are resolved with out delay as a divided house cannot achieve anything.

The Commissioner told them to always work out a seamless transition  that will guaranntee that the Association elections hold as at when due to elect new leaders.

Speaking earlier the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Robert Obi  lauded the Commissioner for warm reception, adding that since his appointment,  the Association has recorded a tremendous peace and progress with the intervention of the State government during their crisess period.

Mr Obi lamented over  the deteriorating state of the Depot infrastructure and other glaring challenges, some of which include cleaning of the tank for the receipt of AGO and DPK, supply of AGO and DPK to Calabar Depot while also noting that  there have been repeated assurances by the top management of NNPC to address some of these challenges.

The Calabar IPMAN Chairman further explained that  embargo  placed on Calabar markets has been lifted as they can now  bridge petroleum products to Calabar as well as  payment to marketers has been restored.

He highlighted some of the challenges facing the Association to include; multiple taxation by many agents claiming to be working for  the  State government, the disputed case between the two fractions and solicited for assistance in order to  restore total peace to the Association.

Other issues raised by the Chairman include insecurity, stressing that between January-March this year, not less than six (6) persons have lost their lives in the area.

In her vote of thanks, the Association's Secretary,Mrs Kate Ubi Ettah appreciated the Commissioner for the opportunity given to them to interface with his office and prayed that  all their challenges would be addressed .

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