Following the upward review of price of petrol last week by the federal government, some marketers have said they may lose N50 billion deposited with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for products.
Some Independent Petroleum Marketers under the aegis of Odu’a Petrol Station Owners and Dealers Association of Nigeria (OPSODAN) said though they support the current steps taken by government to sanitise the downstream oil sector, they are on the verge of losing money deposited with the NNPC under the previous template.
They further urged the federal government to fully liberalise the downstream sector and allow full participation of all marketers who have the capacity to import and distribute petroleum products effectively.
Addressing news men in Lagos, at the weekend the National President, OPSODAN, who also doubles as the Vice Chairman, Lagos Private Depot Operators, Dr Kolawole Adewoyin, commended government on the new price regime adding that the new policy will help stabilise product supply chain.
According to him, “it is a welcome development. With time, prices of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol will come down just like diesel. We believe that if the sector is liberalised, every competent marketer will be able to import and sell the product.
This can only happen under liberalisation policy. “When liberalised, government won’t have to fix pump price of petrol because it is not its business.
The government should only ensure effective supervision and regulatory framework to ensure Nigerians are not cheated during the process.”
Furthermore, he also stated that “the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should live up to its responsibility by ensuring effective regulation of the sector to avoid sharp practices, under-dispensing and hoarding.”
He stated further that the government should also provide some incentives for small and indigenous marketers, through waivers on import duties, to compete favourably with the majors. “By so doing, participation of indigenous marketers in product importation will be promoted,” he said.
Moreover, he urged the NNPC to allow his members to lift products based on old rate “because they have collected over N50billion from us for 20,000 tickets but we are yet to load for over three months when we have made the payment. I think it will be unfair on our part to pay the additional money they are demanding for in order to reflect this new rate.”
It would be recalled that the federal government have been receiving knocks from labour unions and other stakeholders for fixing pump price of petrol at N145 per litre from N86.5 per litre, after it claimed it has deregulated the sector.