By ADEWALE SANYAOLU
The Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria (MOMAN) has alerted that it was not aware of the Federal Government’s plans to reduce the pump price of petrol from N97 to N87.
“Before any price increase, we were always informed before hand and we were always ready to effect the change immediately. But this reduction was a gift to the nation. You don’t open a gift until it is given to you.
Addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, emphasized that marketers were not against reduction in pump price of petrol, but it came as a surprise to them,adding that it will take a few days to adjust the whole pumps across the country.
“The Minister of Petroleum has every right to announce price change without informing anybody. But in this case, we were not aware that such policy is coming. You can see about 80 per cent complaince in Abuja, all our members will comply in other parts of the country too. There are over 2000 filling stations in Lagos alone.
MOMAN has however called on the Federal Government to take advantage of the falling crude oil price to deregulate the downstream sub-sector of the oil and gas industry.
Olawore, also urged the government to increase the profit margin for marketers if regulation of the sector would persist.
He claimed that since 2007, marketers are entitled to N4.60k per liter as margin while dealers collect N1.75k per litre as margin.
“Adequate margin is what we expect to afford us to pay salaried, expand business outlets and able to continue in business,” he said.
“It is a matter of time before we deploy our engineers to all stations to adjust the pumps,” he said.
Meanwhile, he explained that the best time for the Federal Government to deregulate is now. “This is the best time for government to deregulate. It will be incumbent on marketers to demonstrate to Nigerians that the price can go up and down according to market forces.”
Furthermore, the MOMAN boss claimed that the Federal Government is owing marketers N250billion in arrears for subsidy claims in 2014.
“We are businessmen importing fuel on behalf of the Federal Government. The agreement with the government agent, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), that says payment will be paid in 45 days should be honoured.
“This includes foreign exchange and interest rates differentials. Anything short of that means government is liable to pay. The actual subsidy debt is N155billion while foreign exchange and interest rates differentials is N95billion totalling N250billion,” he stated.
Source : SunOnline