.Says refining countries hoarding fuel for local use
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) says the regulated N165 pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is no longer realistic, saying refining countries now hoarding fuel for local use in the face of Russia-Ukraine crisis.
MOMAN Chairman, Mr Olumide Adeosun, who disclosed this on Wednesday during a virtual consumer protection workshop for Oil Marketers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission(FCCPC), the lingering fuel scarcity across the country, blamed the situation on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which had disrupted global energy supply distribution.
The MOMAN chairman noted 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, adding that some developing countries are subsidizing the cost, leading to widespread outages in those countries.
Most countries are allowing the price to adjust, leading to higher prices but with product availability.
He maintained that it would be difficult to enforce any kind of price control mechanism on marketers who had to slightly adjust their prices based on how much they bought products from the depots.
The MOMAN chairman said the way forward was a phased deregulation of PMS by the Federal Government to reduce the shock on consumers.
Adeosun said the gradual price deregulation should be followed with
targeted palliatives in the areas of transportation and agricultural subsidies
to the public to ease implementation.
He said the huge amount spent on petrol subsidy over the years would have been deployed to other critical areas that could have reduced the impact of the current energy crisis on Nigerians.
Adeosun empathised with Nigerians and the Federal Government who had been bearing the huge subsidy cost, adding that the government was working assiduously to mitigate the effects of the situation on the economy.
He said as the nation was moving towards full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, MOMAN would continue to collaborate with the FCCPC to ensure the protection of the rights of consumers.
Earlier, Mr Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman, FCCPC, charged oil marketers to shun anti-competitive conducts and other acts that would short-changed consumers.
Irukera, represented by Mr Adamu Abdullahi, Executive Commissioner, Operations, FCCPC, reiterated the commission’s commitment to the protection of consumers from exploitation.
In his presentation, Mr Ikem Isiekwena, a lawyer and Partner at Simmons Coopers, urged MOMAN to promote efficient health, environmental, safety and quality related industry processes in accordance with the provisions of the FCCPC Act.