We Won’t Resume Fuel Importation, Oil Marketers Tell FG - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, May 21, 2020

We Won’t Resume Fuel Importation, Oil Marketers Tell FG

Lagos- Oil marketers under the Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Thursday, turned down federal government’s invitation to resume petroleum products importation into the country.

Besides, the association through its chairman, Mr.Adetunji Oyebanji, told participants at Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Consultative Summit, that it’s more rewarding and value adding for the federal government to create enabling environment for investment in the oil sector to thrive.

Oyebanji, who is the managing director of 11Plc, maintained that government should make wider consultation per its planned deregulation policy.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Tuesday in Abuja disclosed permits had been given to several marketers to start importing petrol alongside the NNPC.

Before the downstream oil sector was liberalised in March this year, the NNPC used to be the sole importer of petrol, a task it handled for more than two years.

Since 2017, the NNPC was the sole importer of petrol into the country but that would change as reports say with the liberalization of the downstream sector in March this year, the NNPC will no longer be the sole importer of petrol.

But, Oyebanji said that marketers had to shun importation because of inability of government to refund subsidy claims for three years running,adding that resumption of fuel importation transcends mere announcements as any move to change the present price control regime must be backed by a law.

He expressed that when government announced removal of subsidy few weeks ago and followed by statement about deregulation, stakeholders were taken aback as there was no input from them on those issues, and that marketers need additional clarity on that.

He said that MOMAN fully backs deregulation and wished that subsidy removal is gone forever.

He said market forces should be allowed to determine prices of petroleum products as done in deregulated economy, adding that it will engender competition, boost investment and generate jobs as well as providing government with more revenue.

In her remarks, Hajia Amina Maina Group Chief Operating Officer, of MRS Holdings, said that government policies, has handicapped investments in the depot space of the sector

According to her,a standard depot costs about N3 to N5 billion and due to low margin and inappropriate policies many investors have abandoned the business.

She noted that with the NNPC taking over 100 per cent of import and price determination with little margin for depot owners many have left due to huge bank loans and business takeover by AMCON.

She expressed optimism that investment will grow if government takes strong measures to deregulate especially now that COVID-19 has set businesses struggling.

Speaking , Billy Gills-Harrry, national president, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, advised government to take a strong position on the deregulation exercise to allow more flow of investments in the sector.

Also, Winifred Akpani, MD/CEO of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company, urged for a proper and determined position by government to encourage a wider investments in the sector by deregulating the sector.

This she said will promote efficiency and transparency as well as improve on refinery projects.

General Manager, Corporate Services, PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo, in his remarks said market had been liberalised, with both the NNPC and other marketers now shopping for refined petroleum products from international refiners.

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