Fuel Scarcity: Marketers insist N165 petrol pump price no longer sustainable

*Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria advocates gradual reduction of petrol subsidy to address the current painful fuel crisis and its far-reaching consequences on the economy

*The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission urges oil marketers to shun anti-competitive conducts and other acts that will short-change consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As fuel scarcity persists with attendant long queues in some areas in the West African country, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has stated that the regulated N165 pump price For Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is no longer realistic for petroleum product marketers.

ConsumerC0nnect learnt Olumide Adeosun, Chairman of MOMAN, hinted at this  Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at a webinar of consumer protection workshop for oil marketers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

The MOMAN Chairman, however, blamed the fuel crisis in the country on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has disrupted global energy supply distribution, according to report.

Adeosun also compared the current situation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic era with some countries moving to halt exportation of petrol in favour of their own national energy security.

According to him, it would be difficult to enforce any kind of price control mechanism on Nigerian fuel marketers who had to slightly adjust their prices in view of the product prices from the depots.

Adeosun as well advocated the need for Nigeria to gradually reduce the subsidy on Premium Motors Spirit (PMS) to nip the current painful fuel crisis and its overbearing consequences on the economy in the bud.

Nigeria should also consider subsidising mass transportation and productive activities and in such areas such as agriculture.

The MOMAN Chief also informed the gathering that there is an energy crisis impacting the world, developed and developing countries alike, similar to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries have different approaches of dealing with the problem, he noted, adding that there is some energy nationalism going on, leading to some major refining countries hoarding petroleum products like diesel for local use as was the case with COVID-19 vaccines.

“MOMAN believes the answer is somewhere in between. Having subsidised PMS for so long, Nigerian institutions now have a diminished capacity to deal with the current international energy crisis.

If the country had spent monies spent on subsidies on education, health and infrastructure, Nigerians and Nigerian businesses would have been better equipped to face today’s energy challenges. However, better late than never. Everyone has a role to play,” stated Adeosun.

He further said: “We must all reduce consumption and find other ways to weather the current energy crisis as no government can make this painless.

“Predictably, as a country, we shall be faced by the choice of queues and unavailability of products or increases in price at the right pace to make product available.”

Meanwhile, MOMAN has said it appreciates the challenges the NMDPRA (the Authority) and NNPC face in making the petroleum product available despite the restrictive supply environment, extremely high international products costs and the almost insurmountable international logistics challenges occasioned by the unavailability of diesel and its ubiquitous place in the supply chain.

In his address at the forum, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of FCCPC, implored oil marketers to shun anti-competitive conducts and other acts that would short-change consumers in the country.

Irukera was represented by Mr. Adamu Abdullahi, Executive Commissioner, Operations, FCCPC.

The EVC/CEO also expressed the regulatory Commission’s commitment to the protection of Nigerian consumers from exploitation.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday said that two out of the six ships waiting to berth at the port were carrying 149,985 metric tonnes (MT) of petrol.

The NPA in its daily Shipping Position said the other four ships were carrying bulk wheat, fertiliser and container.

It said that 25 other ships laden with petroleum products, food items and others were expected to arrive at the Lagos Port Complex from July 13 to July 28.

NPA said that the ships contained general cargo, container, bulk sugar, bulk wheat, frozen fish, bulk clinker, bulk urea, bulk gypsum, bulk steam coal, petrol and bulk fertilizer.

Nineteen other ships were at the ports discharging bulk wheat, general cargo, frozen fish, soya bean, bulk sugar, container, bulk coal, butane gas and petrol, according to NPA.

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