Marketers are calling for appropriate legislation that will enforce the new fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government.
Speaking during a webinar on the downstream sector at the weekend, the Managing Director of 11 Plc, and Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Adetunji Oyebanji, stated that there are some misconceptions that government has given permission to marketers to import premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol.
“There was never a time government stopped marketers from importing. It was the economics of it that made marketers stopped because it didn’t make sense to import products at a price that is higher than the government fixed price for the product at the pump. Gradually, all the players involved in importation stopped, especially when it became impossible to get the refund of the subsidy payment for upward of three years. That’s what has happened.
“Now, the economics are now that people can import based on prices at the pump and recover their money without having recourse to any subsidy payment. But the issues go beyond that, it is very complicated.
“First and foremost, it is not just about making a pronouncement. If we are really going to make fundamental changes within the downstream space, we really need to have the appropriate laws backing everything up so that we don’t keep going back and forth over these issues in the future. Some of the issue we are trying to canvass and get government to understand is when you retain control of pricing, every time there is need to increase prices, which invariably will come as time goes by, the government will be under tremendous pressure not to change or move the price upward because of political considerations which are quite understandable,” he said.
However, the panellists agreed that appropriate legislation is needed because deregulation could only be as effective as the legal framework put in place to guide it.
They said this included improving the refining capacity, pipelines, trucks, depots, filling stations and supporting the ancillary and derivative industries that would emerge from an improved downstream sector.
Participants at the webinar included: Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, Managing Director, 11 Plc and Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Dame Winifred N. Akpani, MD/CEO, Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and Chairman, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN).
Others included Hajia Amina Maina, Group Chief Operating Officer, MRS Holdings Limited; Mr Huub Stokman, CEO, OVH Energy Marketing Limited; Dr Billy S. Gillis-Harry, National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN); Dr Timothy E. Okon, Managing Partner, Teno Energy Resources Limited and Mr Stanislas Drochon, Head of Africa Strategy and Transformation PUMA Energy.