BusinessDay

Nigeria’s current framework can’t guarantee steady petrol supply – marketers

Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has expressed concern about the current structure of petrol supply in the country, saying it cannot guarantee steady product supply.

Africa’s biggest economy and sixth world’s largest oil producer has again been thrown into another round of petroleum products scarcity, resulting in long queues of vehicles in filling stations across its major cities, including Lagos and Abuja.

“MOMAN, as an association, fears that the current supply framework cannot guarantee steady and consistent supply to the country given the present state of government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages,” Olumide Adeosun, chairman of MOMAN said in a press conference on Wednesday.

This week, petrol scarcity worsened across Lagos and Ogun States, as filling stations now sell the product for N185 per litre or more.

Adeosun said the current scarcity of petrol was occasioned by two main reasons – supply inadequacy in the last few weeks, and distribution challenges created by the unavailability and continuous surge in international prices of automotive gas oil (diesel).

In order to solve the fuel crisis, MOMAN’s chairman suggested gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives in the transportation and agricultural sector, which will ease the implementation of full deregulation in Nigeria’s downstream sector.

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Adeosun also recommended the review of the current single supplier strategy which will tackle the supply and distribution challenges rocking Nigeria’s downstream sector.

“The federal ministry of petroleum resources, in collaboration with the ministry of finance and other relevant MDAs, should set up a task force to immediately focus on increasing diesel supply through accelerated initiatives to increase local modular refining capacity,” MOMAN’s chairman said.

He said MOMAN recognises and closely associates with the need to ease challenges with respect to high energy and transportation costs occasioned by extraneous circumstances.

“MOMAN shall continually do its best to distribute petrol to its customers across the country and keep exploring opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, the Authority, and the government to ensure the sustainability and institutionalisation of a viable petroleum downstream sector in Nigeria,” MOMAN said in a press statement.

The oil marketers’ body insisted on the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 as the most viable long-term solution to the country’s supply and distribution challenges.

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