Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy, Huub Stokman, has advocated the need for the federal government to deregulate the nation’s petroleum industry.
Stokman gave the advice, at a media parley in Lagos. Where he also explained that the ills besetting the nation’s downstream sector, will be nipped in the bud, if the federal government completely adopts the deregulation policy.
He said his Company has made impressive show in the Country’s downstream sector, despite the challenges therein, following the acquisition of two new aviation bowsers, to deepen its market penetration in the aviation sector.
The OVH CEO, stated further that, during the outgoing year, the company invested significantly in upgrading its existing retail stations to better serve, and create the right experience for its customers.
“We have included a stand-alone Oleum Service Centre, with two bays complete with lifting equipment, in some of our stations, in addition to our traditional single pit lube bay within the station building. Our Lube bay offerings include car servicing, oil change, car diagnosis, tyre change and air, alignment and wheel balancing, and a 36-point car check. We know the sort of care an average car owner places on his vehicle, so we added car wash services that includes interior detailing and shampooing. We just concluded the Oleum Awoof promo, where we gave out a brand-new Toyota Yaris and over 4000 gift items including tricycles, motorbikes, TVs, generators and tool boxes.” Stokman added.
According to him, “We are expanding our LPG footprint. At the moment, we have installed over 38 skid tanks. Our Pay-As-You-Gas (PAUG) plants provide a much easier access to gas refills for our customers. We have also added 6KG 3in-1 cooking bundle to our O-Gas offerings (3KG, 6KG, 12.5KG and 50KG and Pay-As-U-Gas-our spot buying option.”
He further said his Company recorded a significant milestone recently when it upgraded its ASPM jetty, to receive both fuel and diesel, just as he revealed that OVH celebrated 100 vessel berths without any Lost Time Injury, earlier in the year.
On the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, Stokman disclosed that 4800 mechanics have graduated from Oleum Academy, adding that OVH is currently training additional 300 mechanics.
”This is especially satisfying to us, because we have achieved our target. In 2014 when we inaugurated this Academy, we said we will be training 5000 mechanics in five years. We have simply achieved that feat”.
He said his company partnered with global shapers, to distribute 100 units of O-gas to pregnant women, with the aim of reducing the risk of birth defects. The Company also partnered with Oando Foundation, to upgrade one school infrastructure, and provide learning materials.
“All of these, and more, are what OVH Energy is doing, to ensure that we deliver on our promise to our customers, using trusted petroleum products,” he added.
Similarly, Clement Isong, the CEO/Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), expressed concerned over challenges facing the downstream sector, adding that marketers have not received all pending outstanding debts payments, owed by the government on subsidy.
Isong said that the huge debts have affected marketers from getting loans from banks, adding that issue of margins, remains imperative.
According him, “we still need margins for sustainability of our business. It does not make sense to import, because it’s not profitable. Total deregulation of the sector, remains the best option for the downstream sub sector of the oil and gas industry.”
However, Isong reiterated the association’s commitment towards ensuring safety compliance within the petroleum tanker drivers.
The MOMAN Executive Secretary, was of the view that, the association is collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on safety code system, for checking trucks, from loading point to distribution.
Isong said that many trucks plying the roads are too old and should not be allowed to move on the roads.
“We have resorted to ensuring, that all member trucks are automated, certified, and comply to the code of standard, before lifting products from the depots. The safety committees of MOMAN members have carved out mechanism in place, that ensures trucks belonging to members, do not involve in malpractices, accidents, and illegality. We organize training for all truck drivers yearly. We are also working with tanker drivers, and other unions, to bring sanity to the haulage business,” he said.
Isong said that, MOMAN is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring standard in the downstream sector, among its members Companies.
MOMAN will ensure effective compliance of health, safety, environment, & quality (HSEQ), corporate governance, customer satisfaction at the station forecourts, including accurate dispensing of product.
Isong, stated that, good corporate governance practices, were at the core of good business performance impacting all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, service providers, transporters, dealers and ultimately, the Nigerian customer.
He made it known, that the image of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, had, over the years, suffered considerable damage, as a result of some underhand practices, particularly, the penchant of some petrol station dealers, for cheating at the pumps.
The MOMAN helmsman, equally condemned the unwillingness of some product transporters, to present fit, and proper vehicles, and trained drivers for the movement of hazardous cargo, such as petroleum products.