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Oil marketers including the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has backed the governors’ proposal on fuel price by calling for the complete removal of fuel subsidy.
The oil marketers stated that the rise in the landing cost of petrol had further highlighted the need to put a stop to petrol subsidy.
On Monday, the newsmen reported that the landing cost of petrol imported into Nigeria had increased to a new high of N249.42 per litre on the back of high global crude oil prices.
The further rise in the landing cost of petrol means increased subsidy as the pump price of the product remains between N162 and N165 per litre.
Speaking With the newsmen on Saturday, the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, insisted that petrol price should be determined by market forces.
He said, “In a deregulated sector where subsidy is completely removed, the forces of demand and supply drive the market. There are no institutions that determine the prices of petroleum products in such a deregulated sector or fix the price of the products.
“It is important that the forces of demand and supply should drive the prices of petroleum products in the country, whereby you can be able to buy products from your local refinery and go to your local filling station and sell it.”
Ukadike, however, said the subsidy should be removed in a way that it would not inflict hardship on the consumers.
“IPMAN supports the removal of subsidy, but this should be based on the provisions of the PIB so that marketers and consumers will not suffer hardship,” he said.
“Also, in doing this, we should ensure indigenous production of refined products,” Ukadike added.
The Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited, Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, had also recently said the country might end up spending N2tn on petrol subsidy this year.
Ogbechie, who spoke at the Nigeria History Series of the Centre for Values in Leadership, lamented the lack of deregulation in the downstream sector.
He said, “The biggest elephant in the room today as far as the downstream is concerned is the failure, so to speak, of the government to deregulate the downstream. Fixing the prices at which petroleum products are sold, I believe, is very seriously harmful to this economy.
“Petrol is being sold for between N162 and N165 per litre. I believe that petrol is being subsidised with at least N100 per litre. If you look at the national consumption of anything between 60 and 80 million litres per day, we are spending about N8bn every day just to subsidise one product.”
Petrol subsidy, which was removed in March 2020, resurfaced earlier this year as the government has left the pump price of the product unchanged since last December despite the increase in global oil prices.
Just as the oil marketers, the state-owned oil company, NNPC, had repeatedly kicked against the continuation of subsidy, but stated that it was awaiting the outcome of negotiations between the government and labour