The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said the Federal Government was enforcing a monopolistic deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector instead of total exercise.
National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr Mike Osatuyi, in a statement, said the government had not allowed market forces to determine the petroleum pump price.
Osatuyi said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been the sole importer of petrol and few markets operating crude for refined white products under the name, Direct Supply Direct Purchase (DSDP), which negates the principle of market deregulation of the sector.
According to him, government monopolising importation of petrol has negated the principle of equal participation.
“There is a need for government to allow other players into the market to import petrol by making forex available at CBN official rate as promised severally by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva.”
Osatuyi said: “Government announced full deregulation of PMS (petrol) in March 2020 but we witnessed price band control up to August 2020.
“From September, the price band control was withdrawn with the hope that full deregulation will surface, but what we have been experiencing now is monopolistic deregulations.”
This came as the Executive Secretary, Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu, assured of the availability of petroleum products throughout the Yuletide.
In a statement in Abuja, he said the “average stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, for both inland and marine between 12th and 18th December 2020 stood at 2,230,400,000 litres, this translates to 39.83 days sufficiency.
“The country also has a total average volume of 623,080,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) or diesel with 44.51 days’ sufficiency, which signals good news for luxurious buses that are expected to dominate long travels during the festive season.
“In addition to petrol and diesel availability, Nigeria has 25 days sufficiency of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) with a total of 75,780,000 litres and 34.18 days sufficiency with a total of 25,293,200 litres of Household Kerosene (HHK) for domestic use.”
PPPRA advised marketers to operate within the confines of the rules guiding operations in the downstream and shun unwholesome practices that could cause Nigerians untold hardship during the festive period and beyond.
The Federal Government, he said, remains focused on executing the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP); its gas masterplan that will result in many fuel retail outlets being able to dispense gas to motorists in the new year.
The NGEP Autogas rollout of December 1, 2020 and the ongoing motor vehicle tank conversion at various centres, herald the proliferation of a cheaper and cleaner alternative to petrol for Nigerians.
“With growing investor confidence in the country’s petroleum downstream catalysed by the deregulation policy and concerted efforts in actualising the Year of Gas, the PPPRA would like to, once again, assure all stakeholders that the vision for a vibrant, self-sustaining downstream sector remains a priority and we are working tirelessly to achieve this,” he said.