Fuel scarcity: Oil marketers urge FG to consider deregulation in phases

THE Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has urged the Federal government to consider a full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector in phases.

MOMAN Chairman, Oluwole Adeosun, made the call today at a web training for energy journalists.

Adeosun said that the development was necessary to cushion the effects of the impact of the sharp rise in fuel prices on Nigerians.

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He said that MOMAN would continue to work with other key stakeholders to ensure it ramps up supplies to retail sites and enable return to normalcy as soon as possible.

He added, “We envisage a rise in demand during the yuletide season and we are prepared to work round the clock to keep our stations running.”

Adeosun also said there was the need for the country to begin the process of price deregulation to reduce inefficient subsidy.

“If the country wishes to implement a subsidy, it must be in areas targeted to help those it should help. Such areas are agriculture and transportation, to reduce food price inflation and generate more jobs for Nigerians.

“In tandem, we must find a way to liberalise supply. We must bring transparency and competition into supply to ensure steady and more efficient supply at optimum prices,” he said.

He stressed that imported products must compete with locally refined products to find a meeting point between the need for local refining and competitively low but cost-recovered prices for Nigerians for sustainability.

“The dialogue with the Nigerian people needs to begin to identify, negotiate and agree on these areas and begin implementation to save the downstream industry.

“The industry has been in degradation and a free fall due to a lack of investment to maintain, renew and grow assets and facilities such as refineries, pipelines, depots, trucks and modern filling stations,” he said.

In a similar vein, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had condemned the Nigerian government’s payment of subsidy, describing it as a good enabler of smuggling and long queues.

IPMAN further called for total deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

The National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, who made the call, also indicted the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd) for using third party means in supplying its members petroleum products.



    He pointed out that the NNPCLtd, being a key supplier of petroleum products and a competitor in the retail sales, was disrupting the supply chain market.

    “What we are experiencing now is market fundamental pricing, but when we deregulate, we cannot be having these issues such as smuggling and arbitrary hike. Subsidy makes smuggling to survive because of price disparity with neighbouring African countries,” he said.

    Osatuyi raised concerns on how the NNPCLtd supplies marketers fuel through third parties, which he said disrupts business and causes, together with price peg, long queues at filling stations.

    He stressed that gaps in the fuel supply chain would continue if the government did not enforce subsidy removal.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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