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Oil marketers kick over pump price reduction

Members of the Private Depot of Oil and Gas Marketers Association of Nigeria (PDOGMAN) and other stakeholders have described as counterproductive the new pump price reduction announced by the federal government.

Speaking on behalf of the body, the pioneer National President of the Association, Chief (Dr.) Kolawole Adewoyin, said although the government must have had good intentions but it was not in the overall interest of the country.

In a telephone chat with our correspondent at the weekend, Adewoyin said the reduction was faulty in its entirety.

It may be recalled that the federal government had approved the reduction of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly referred to as petrol, from N145 per litre to N125 per litre with immediate effect.

The order from the government to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the reduction came against the backdrop of the crash in crude oil prices globally.

The President also ordered NNPC to immediately reduce the ex-coastal and ex-depot price of the premium motor spirit to reflect the current market realities.

Given the directive on behalf of the President, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, said that enforcement of compliance by petroleum marketers is to be enforced by NNPC and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The price reduction is expected to affect all petroleum products.

Raising some posers, the PDOGMAN boss said, “Is the price reduction going to be a temporary or permanent measure? What happens if the global oil price increases again, are we going to review the price upward?”

The decision to reduce the pump price, he maintained was “Taken arbitrarily without due consultation with relevant stakeholders. Such unilateral decision reminds one of policy initiatives under the military regime which do things in fiat. It’s not in the overall interest of the operators and ultimately in the public interest because the policy is not founded on a solid ground.”

Adewoyin, who is the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of AA Adewoyin Petroleum, said: “The question is why can’t the government make up its mind and take a firm stand on deregulation of the sector instead of committing so much to subsidy which cost the taxpayers a lot of money and denies us all of reaping the true dividends of democracy such as good road networks, efficient healthcare delivery system and what have you. How many people have cars compare to those who don’t have? Kerosene was deregulated and it’s on record we have a high percentage of the population consume this compared to petroleum.”

While advocating for the government to provide palliative measures for its members for the losses incurred as a result of this unplanned reduction which is at the detriment of their businesses, Adewoyin lamented that, a lot of his members already stock up buying from NNPC and may not be able to recoup their capital.

Echoing similar sentiments, the National Secretary of PDOGMAN, Mr. Fred Ufua, impressed on the federal government the need to ensure equitable distribution of wealth in the nation’s oil and gas sector as the current arrangement which granted the sole monopoly to the NNPC to determine the fate of other stakeholders who contribute their quota to the sustainability of the sector.