Business & Finance

FG meets petroleum marketers amidst scarcity and price hike rumours

Written by Ade

There are confirmed reports that the Federal Government was currently engaging oil marketers on critical issues in the downstream oil sector especially as they concerned fuel queues, bridging claims payment, and pump price of petrol.

Kimchi Apollo, the General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, in a chat with the media confirmed that government officials are meeting with the oil dealers.

“The NMDPRA is engaging them in an ongoing meeting, so I’ll let you know the outcome. Hopefully, by tomorrow you will know the outcome of the meeting,” Apollo said.

Industry analysts believe the meeting might lead to an upward review of the pump price of petrol, as oil marketers had repeatedly blamed the persistent fuel queues in various parts of Nigeria on the unsustainable cost of PMS.

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association (NOGASA) have all asked the government to gradually increase the price of petrol.

Also, some members of IPMAN are currently selling petrol at N180/litre and above in many states across the country.

Mohammed Shuaibu, the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, said that the cost of petrol was unsustainable at N165/litre, stressing that some filling stations in Abuja were currently dispensing the product at N185/litre, as they now purchased the commodity above N168/litre from depots.

Shuaibu stated that the indebtedness of the government to marketers concerning bridging claims must be settled or else the IPMAN members might be embarking on a strike soon.

 “The cost of petrol at N165/litre is not sustainable. Bridging claims need to be settled and these are issues that should be addressed to avert the impending strike,” he stated.

With the renewed scarcity of petrol across the country, some players and analysts are calling for the gradual phasing out of fuel subsidy instead of total deregulation.

Olumide Adeosun, the Chairman, MOMAN, in a chat with the media, said the impact of the Russian/Ukraine war on businesses is “immense”, and call on the Federal Government to gradually phase out subsidy to avoid “shock”.

Adeosun said the Nigerian government has run the subsidy regime for too long, adding that the huge fund reserved for subsidy should be diverted into growing other sectors such as Agriculture, health, education and others.

“The Federal Government has allowed subsidy for too long and we haven’t saved for the rainy days. The subsidy keeps increasing to the tune of N4 trillion. Such money would have been invested into Agriculture, health, education and others,” he said.

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