To check the perennial scarcity of petroleum products, especially premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has called for a review of the present arrangement that leaves the nation dependent on a single supplier for petrol supply.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has been the country’s sole importer of PMS and currently has approval to spend nothing less than N4 trillion on the payment of subsidy this year.
Addressing journalists yesterday, MOMAN Chairman, Olumide Adeosun, explained that the present petrol scarcity is as a result of supply inadequacy in the last few weeks and distribution challenges created by the unavailability and continuous surge in international prices of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
Indeed, MOMAN expressed fears that the current supply framework could not guarantee steady and consistent supplies to the country given the current state of government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages.
According to Adeosun, the fuel supply in the country had been dropping since May. He noted that 438,800tonnes of PMS were delivered at Apapa in April, a volume that dropped in May to 213,000MT while in June, only 140,000MT were recorded, with another 64,000MT loading as of yesterday.
When asked how soon the queues would disappear, Adeosun stated that there is a need for consistent supply, adding that the government has assured that 34 days’ worth of supply
It, therefore, recommended gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives (through transport and agricultural subsidies) to the public to ease implementation.
“MOMAN empathizes with its customers as we all continue to grapple with the recurrent scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in various parts of the Country.
“MOMAN members are working with The Authority, NNPC/PPMC, NARTO and other industry stakeholders to make the product (petrol) available at the pumps and eliminate the queues as quickly as possible”, he said.
In the interim, Adeosun said MOMAN recommends that the current single supplier strategy be reviewed, while the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant MDAs, should set up a task force to immediately focus on increasing diesel supply through accelerated initiatives to increase local modular refining capacity.
This move, according to MOMAN, will tackle the supply and distribution challenges.
The marketers also recommended phased rehabilitation of existing NNPC refineries to hasten the supply of middle distillates (AGO & ATK), adding that the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 clearly remains the most viable long-term solution to the country’s supply and distribution challenges.
“MOMAN recognizes and closely associates with the need to ease challenges with respect to high energy and transportation costs occasioned by extraneous circumstances.”
“MOMAN shall continually do its best to distribute petrol to its customers across the country and keep exploring opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, The Authority, and the Government to ensure the sustainability and institutionalization of a viable petroleum downstream sector in Nigeria”, Adeosun added.