Major oil marketers say N165/litre of petrol retail price no longer realistic

Written by on July 14, 2022

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) yesterday said the regulated N165 pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is no longer realistic.

Its Chairman, Olumide Adeosun, said it would be difficult to enforce any kind of price control mechanism on marketers who had to slightly adjust their prices based on how much they bought products from the depots.

The MOMAN chairman said the way forward was phased deregulation of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, by the Federal Government to reduce the shock on consumers.

Adeosun said the gradual price deregulation should be followed with targeted palliatives in the areas of transportation and agricultural subsidies to the public to ease implementation.

He blamed the persistent scarcity on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which had disrupted global energy supply distribution.

Adeosun spoke during a virtual consumer protection workshop for oil marketers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, last week said unless the oil sector was fully deregulated, fuel scarcity would remain a common theme.

Adeosun, who was reacting to the lingering fuel scarcity across the country, likened the situation to the COVID-19 pandemic era with some countries moving to halt the exportation of petrol in favour of their own national energy securities.

He said the huge amount spent on petrol subsidy over the years would have been deployed to other critical areas that could have reduced the impact of the current energy crisis on Nigerians.

Adeosun empathised with Nigerians and the Federal Government who had been bearing the huge subsidy cost.

He believes the government was working to mitigate the effects of the situation on the economy.

He said as the nation was moving towards full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, MOMAN would continue to collaborate with the FCCPC to ensure the protection of the rights of consumers.

FCCPC Executive Vice Chairman, Mr Babatunde Irukera, urged oil marketers to shun anti-competitive conducts and acts that would short-change consumers.

Represented by Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, he reiterated the commission’s commitment to the protection of consumers from exploitation.

Sylva, why addressing reporters last week, said the scarcity of petrol in Abuja, Lagos and some parts of the country was not due to supply but “cost-related.”

He emphasised that there are usually no queues in petrol stations that sell above the official pump price.

He said: “Frankly, it is not a supply issue, as you can also confirm, so it’s not from us. But you know when you have an arbitrage opportunity, people will tend to take advantage of it. These are some of the fallouts of the subsidy regime.

“If you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja. It is only in the Abuja metropolis you continue to have these queues.

“So, is it that there is less supply to Abuja than to the rest of the country? It is not so. It is because if you go out of Abuja, they can afford to probably sell at higher prices.

“I’m sure a lot of you must be buying at higher prices, but within Abuja, because of the watchful eye of the Federal Government, they cannot sell at those prices. So, it’s not a very attractive market for them.

“I think these are all things that we might have to be dealing with for a while until we’re able to fully deregulate.

“I don’t know whether there’re queues in some places in Lagos, but the queues are reported mostly in Abuja, and in some parts of Lagos, not every part of Lagos. Wherever they think they can sell at higher prices. There are no queues.

“But that actually is a problem. It is not a supply problem. The country is well supplied as it is. Nigerian National Petroleum Company has a very good supply. So, it is not a problem for us, but it is the marketers.”

The scarcity persisted in major cities yesterday, with independent marketers selling between N180 to N250 per litre.

Most major marketers were closed while there were queues at the petrol stations of those who had the product.


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