The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the major oil marketers in the country, has said that the fixed retail price of N165 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, has become very realistic.
The Association’s position is coming at a time that gasoline scarcity has persisted for several weeks in major cities across the country including Abuja with different stakeholders in the oil sector trading blames instead of finding solution to the problem.
Chairman of MOMAN, Olumide Adeosun, who stated this ,during a virtual consumer protection workshop for Oil Marketers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), was reacting to the lingering gasoline scarcity across the country.
He attributed the problem to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which had disrupted global energy supply.
Adeosun likened the current situation to the COVID-19 pandemic era with some countries moving to halt the exportation of petrol in favour of their own national energy securities.
He insisted that it would be difficult to enforce any kind of price control mechanism on oil marketers who were forced to slightly adjust their prices to reflect the current cost of purchasing the product from the depots.
Adeosun, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Ardova Plc advised a phased deregulation of petrol by the Federal Government to reduce the shock on consumers as a way forward from the present challenges.
He 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.
Recall that in a related development, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), had a few days ago, attributed the lingering fuel scarcity in Lagos and its environs to the inability of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to supply products to the Ejigbo depot.
There had been reports that private depot owners are still selling petrol at about N162 per litre to the oil marketers as against the approved N148.17 per litre with some retail fuel stations especially the ones owned by independent marketers selling at between N180 per litre and N195 per litre depending on the location.
Meanwhile, scarcity of petrol has persisted across different parts of Lagos and its environs with many petrol stations shut and long queues of vehicles seen at the few filling stations that are selling.