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Fuel Scarcity: IPMAN urges government to issue licences to more importers for competitive pricing

*Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Enugu Depot community, in South-East, asks the  Federal Government to issue more licences to importers and those who can build refineries for competition and possibly a price war, as the NNPC Limited ‘cannot be in business and still be regulating prices’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the recent increases in pump prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol with the attendant relative product scarcity, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to issue licences to more importers.

Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of IPMAN Enugu Depot community in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, stated this Friday, June 2, 2023, in Awka, Anambra State capital.

Anyaso explained that issuing licences to more importers would allow other entities to bring petrol, and other petroleum products into the West African country, agency report said.

He also noted the current structure, where the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is the sole importer of products is a “monopoly that would serve the masses no good.”

According to Anyaso, only a ‘price war’ inspired by the participation of more importers alongside the state oil company would make the price of products find their natural levels.

He stated: “Only competitive pricing will address the current problem of PMS and other petroleum products.

“The Federal Government should issue more licences to importers and those who can build refineries for there to be competition and possibly a price war.”

NNPCL as a market player and regulator?

The IPMAN chief further argued the “NNPCL is a private company. They cannot be in business and still be regulating prices.

“What they released recently is their own price, private marketers’ prices can only be determined by what the private depots are selling.”

According to him, the recent petrol price template released by NNPCL, also a marker player, pegging PMS between N515 and N520 in the South-East as its company price, was not binding on independent marketers, but at best a guide.

He said that fuel marketers in the geo-political zone would continue to serve the public to the best of their abilities, subject to prevailing prices at the depots.

Anyaso, however, lampooned some members of the Association selling PMS at as much as N600 per litre, saying it was exploitative, report stated.

In the course of the week, there  reports that filling stations across the country increased pump prices from N185 to over N500, shortly after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared in his inauguration speech Monday, May 29, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, that “petrol subsidy is gone.”

Barely a few days after President Tinubu’s  pronouncement NNPCL in conjunction with ‘The Authority’ (NMDPRA) announced and issued its adjusted petrol price template for filling stations across its retail outlets in Nigeria.

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