• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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No need to panic over petrol subsidy removal- Marketers, NMDPRA

Deregulation: A means to an end to perennial fuel scarcity!

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and oil marketers have urged Nigerians not to panic regarding the announcement of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The oil regulator said in a statement that it is working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and other key stakeholders to guarantee a smooth transition, avoid supply disruptions, and ensure that consumers are not short-changed in any form.

“Contrary to speculations and concerns, the announcement is in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) which provides for total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to drive investment and growth,” the statement said.

The Authority assures that there is an ample supply of petrol to meet demand as it has taken necessary steps to ensure distribution channels remain uninterrupted and fuel is readily available at all filling stations across the country.

“Therefore, we call on Nigerians to remain calm and resist the urge to stockpile as it poses a significant safety hazard. In the same vein, Operators are advised to refrain from hoarding petrol and causing hardship,” it said.

In a joint statement issued by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) they appreciated the clarity of policy from the Tinubu administration, a direction that signals a courageous and pragmatic shift in our nation’s economic trajectory while calling for calm.

“In light of the assurance given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), we wish to reiterate that there is no cause for alarm,” the statement read in part.

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“We strongly urge Nigerians to avoid panic buying or stockpiling of petrol. This behaviour not only creates artificial scarcity but also poses a significant safety hazard.”

According to the oil marketers, the NNPCL has assured Nigerians of adequate fuel supply and the NMDPRA is working closely with stakeholders to ensure a seamless transition.

“They are ensuring distribution channels remain

uninterrupted, thereby making fuel readily available at all filling stations across the country,” it read. “The decision to phase out this fuel subsidy regime is not merely a fiscal reform; it is a significant stride toward social justice.”

The oil marketers expressed gratitude that the administration plans to redirect these substantial funds

towards essential public goods such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

“These investments symbolize our shared future, promising considerable, long-term benefits for all Nigerians.

“We understand the concerns regarding potential price increases. However, we expect marketers to

maintain reasonable pricing, as NNPCL remains the sole supplier of the product currently,” the Joint statement read.

The oil marketers said they anticipate minimal changes regarding distribution costs, considering the cost of the product constitutes 80 percent of the pump price and pledged to manage these distribution costs diligently to minimize the impact on the pump price in collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and other crucial stakeholders,

“Considering this clarity of policy, we ask our suppliers to continue supplying products to all legitimate marketers. We also urge all stations to remain open and avoid hoarding products.

“And we eagerly await the day when the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, as well as other licensed importers, join the current supplier in a bid to diversify the source of petroleum products and enhance market competition,” the statement read.

MOMAN and DAPPMAN said they will maintain an open dialogue with the Federal Government, advocating for stability in the oil sector during this transitional period. According to the statement, they are prepared to support any measures from the Government that would help cushion the impact on the populace.