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Subsidy: Break NNPCLs monopoly, oil marketers beg buhari

June 4, 2023

Petroleum marketers have appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately break the monopoly status being enjoyed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in the spirit of the deregulation of the downstream sector.

Speaking through their union, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (lPMAN), the marketers insisted that NNPCL should play like any other player in the ecosystem having morphed from a cooperation to a limited liability company.

The association’s request follows divergent opinions trailing the new price increase by the sole importer of the product, NNPCL.

According to the Wednesday announcement by the oil company, the product will now sell between N488 and N557.00 per litre, depending on jurisdictions.

Checks revealed that the NNPCL’s four refineries with 445,000 barrels per day cumulative refining capacities have not been functioning at optimal levels, while the Dangote Refinery recently commissioned with 650,000 barrels per day refining capacity was yet to commence operation.

IPMAN in a statement signed by Alhaji Debo Ahmed and Chief John Kekeocha, President and National Secretary, respectively, asked President Tinubu to ensure that other downstream sector players, apart from the NNPC, partake in the importation of petrol to meet local demand.

The association said: “The primary essence of removing subsidy is to free the market and make it competitive. Allowing other interested parties into the petroleum supply network, either through local refining or importation, will guarantee adequate production and supply and ultimately precipitate reasonable reductions in the high price that is being witnessed at this initial take off.”

The statement also enjoined the federal government to ensure that Nigerians at the receiving end of the subsidy removal feel “the dividends in the areas of infrastructural development, in the health sector, education and basic social amenities will be attended to.”

The statement read in part: “As the NNPCL continued to justify its price template for Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS), the IPMAN wishes to lend its voice in support of the current removal of the long awaited petroleum subsidy which had lingered for more than 20 years. It goes a long way to demonstrate the very strong will and dexterity that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has in his promise to liberate Nigerians from perpetual indebtedness and easy borrowing which has jeopardized all efforts for reasonable progress in the country.

“It is our believe and hope that the justgist Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) will ensure that the product is made available for Nigerians and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) ensures adequate monitoring and distribution making sure that the policy takes place seamlessly.

“However it’s important to state here that the primary essence of removing subsidy is to free the market and make it competitive. This is by allowing other interested parties into the petroleum supply network. This is either by their engaging in importation or local refining. It’s the duty of government to ensure that all bottlenecks and frustrations in this regard are removed so that adequate productions and supplies will eventually precipitate reasonable reductions in the high price that is being witnessed at this initial take off.

“While many Nigerians welcome this policy with a pinch of salt ,it is our prayers and believe that the constraining sacrifices of the people in swallowing this bitter pill will be compensated with obvious and empirical proves of how the dividends of the subsidy removal has positively impacted on the lives of the people vis-a-vis the economy. The other indices of good governance in the areas of infrastructural development, in the health sector, education and basic social amenities will be attended to”.

The association pledged to play according to the rules and believes that the policy will be a milestone in repositioning the ailing economy.

(The Sun)

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