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Subsidy is back, Marketers insist, counter FG

Subsidy is back, Marketers insist, counter FG

Oil marketers refuted the Federal Government’s position on Tuesday, insisting that the present pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, widely known as petrol, should not be less than N800/litre if the product was not subsidized.

Petrol presently costs between N580 and N617 a litre, depending on the area of purchase, because the Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, has refused to reinstate the PMS subsidy.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, denied the reintroduction of petrol subsidies on Monday, claiming that the pockets of queues observed by motorists in petrol stations across the country were caused by hiccups in product distribution from the South to the North, rather than a lack of supply.

“No subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our full cost from the products that we import. We sell to the market, and we understand why the marketers are unable to import. We hope that they do it very quickly and these are some of the interventions the government is doing. There is no subsidy,” Kyari had stated.

He made the statement just 48 hours after the Nigerian Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association acknowledged the reintroduction of fuel subsidies.

Furthermore, oil marketers had previously declared repeatedly that fuel subsidies had returned, explaining that the landing cost of petrol last week was N720/litre.

On Tuesday, they lambasted the NNPCL boss for coming out to state that the government was not subsidizing PMS, as they explained why subsidy on PMS had returned.

Read Also: N165 pump price: NMDPRA monitors petrol depots, stations

He said the government went ahead to remove the subsidy without looking at the nitty gritty involved before implementing the decision.

“You cannot wake up overnight and remove subsidy without considering the pros and cons, only for you to wake up again and start putting back the subsidy into play secretly, and you think Nigerians will not know,” he stated.

Asked to state the implications of these concerns in the downstream sector, Kekeocha replied, “I am telling you that in a very short time, there will be no product anywhere in this country, apart from the tank farms that have access to diesel.

Kekeocha, however, noted that tank farm owners involved in the retailing of petrol were few, stressing that such category of dealers were very limited when compared to independent marketers.

Independent marketers control about 80 percent of filling stations across the country, as a reduction in their operations is going to lead to scarcity in many locations, particularly areas that lack major operators that have tank farms.

On claims by NNPCL that it had enough product, the IPMAN secretary said this was not entirely correct.

On his part, the National President, the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, Benneth Korie, said filling stations were closing, as he insisted that fuel subsidies had been gradually reintroduced.

Earlier, another dealer explained that the last private marketer, PETROCAM, that imported petrol into Nigeria recently, could not sell it due to the reintroduction of subsidy on PMS and the insistence of NNPCL not to raise its pump price.

The marketer stated that before the last month, whenever they (marketers) brought in products, they would convince the NNPCL to raise the price in accordance with the landing cost.

Meanwhile, the government through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, stated on Tuesday that fuel subsidy was gulping about N4.8tn from its purse.

The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, disclosed this at the ongoing Energy and Labour Summit organized by PENGASSAN in Abuja.

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