The chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Olumide Adeosun said the current regulated N165 pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is no longer realistic.
Olumide made this known during a virtual consumer protection workshop for oil marketers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) yesterday.
While reacting, he said the lingering fuel scarcity across the country is associated with the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has disrupted energy supply distribution across the world.
The MOMAN chairman likened the current situation to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some countries planning to stop the exportation of petrol in favour of their own national energy securities.
However, he maintained that it would be difficult to effect any kind of price control mechanism on marketers who have slightly made adjustments to their prices based on the market price of the product directly from the depots.
He said, “the way forward is phased deregulation of PMS by the Federal Government to reduce the sudden impact on consumers”.
Adeosun said, “gradual price deregulation should be followed with targeted palliatives in areas of transportation and agricultural subsidies to the public to ease implementation”.
He said, “a huge amount spent on petrol subsidy over the years would have been deployed to other critical areas that could have reduced the impact of the current energy crisis on Nigerians”.
Adeosun expressed concerns with Nigerians and the Federal Government who have been bearing the huge subsidy cost, adding that the government is working tirelessly to mitigate the effects of the situation on the economy, especially at this time of global recession.
He “said as the nation is moving towards full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, MOMAN would continue to collaborate with the FCCPC to ensure the protection of the rights of consumers”.
Before now, the Executive Vice Chairman, FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, charged oil marketers to shun anti-competitive conduct and other acts that could short-change consumers.
Irukera (represented by Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr Adamu Abdullahi), reiterated the commission’s commitment to the protection of consumers from exploitation.
In his presentation, Mr Ikem Isiekwena, a lawyer and Partner at Simmons Coopers, urged MOMAN to promote efficient health, environmental, safety and quality-related industry processes, in accordance with provisions of the FCCPC Act.
He also urged the marketers to liaise and coordinate with specific industry regulators and its members on consumer protection issues.