In the face of endless fuel crisis in Nigeria, the petroleum products marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have called for the review of the current single supplier strategy in which the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is the sole importer of petrol.
They urged the federal government to put an end to the monopolistic privilege enjoyed by NNPC.
MOMAN stated this in a statement issued in Lagos at the end of its virtual press conference, which was jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Olumide Adeosun, and Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Clement Isong.
It also stressed that urgent and full implementation of the PIA 2021, as regard full deregulation of the downstream sector to allow market forces determine the prices of products, especially petrol, was the way out of the frequent product shortages and attendant hardships on Nigerians.
It said the current scarcity of petrol was occasioned by supply inadequacy in the last few weeks as well as distribution challenges created by the unavailability and continuous surge in international prices of automotive gas oil, popularly called diesel.
“In the interim, MOMAN recommends that the current single supplier strategy be reviewed.
“MOMAN, as an association, fears that the current supply framework cannot guarantee steady and consistent supplies to the country given the current state of government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages. We, therefore, recommend a gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives (example transport and agricultural subsidies) to the public to ease implementation,” it said.
The association said its members were working with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited through its marketing arm, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the National Association of Road Transport Operators (NARTO), and other industry stakeholders to make petrol available at the pumps and eliminate the queues as quickly as possible.
MOMAN said the suggestions proffered would tackle the supply and distribution challenges, adding that the phased rehabilitation of existing NNPC refineries would hasten supply of middle distillates: diesel and aviation fuel.
The statement further said, “MOMAN recognises and closely associates with the need to ease challenges with respect to high energy and transportation costs occasioned by extraneous circumstances.
“MOMAN shall continually do its best to distribute petrol to its customers across the country and keep exploring opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, the Authority, and the Government to ensure the sustainability and institutionalisation of a viable petroleum downstream sector in Nigeria.”