PMAN asks FG cease managed deregulation of downstream sector
The National Operations Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, has said there is a need for the Federal Government to enforce total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector rather than engaging in “monopolistic deregulation”.
Osatuyi said this while speaking on the government’s unwillingness to allow market forces to determine the petroleum pump price in the country.
Osatuyi said the government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has been the sole importer of petrol, an action that negates the principle of market deregulation.
According to him, the government’s decision to monopolise importation of petrol negates the principle of equal participation and a level playing field in the business.
“There is a need for the government to allow other players to enter the market to import petrol by making forex available at CBN official rate as promised severally by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Timipreye Silva.
“The Federal Government should make forex available to oil marketers for import to drive down petrol price now that crude price is around,” he said.
He noted that the Federal Government had announced a plan to make foreign exchange available to petroleum product marketers who have been awaiting a call to deliberate on the modalities.
“Government should make foreign exchange available to petroleum product marketers to make the importation of petrol competitive, reduce the rising cost of the product and stop the overdependence on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for importation and pricing,” he emphasised
Osatuyi, who is also the National Deputy President (South), the Indigenous Gas Traders Association of Nigeria (INGASAN), said the availability of forex to oil marketers would end the current monopoly in the importation of petrol by NNPC.
Osatuyi said: “Government announced full deregulation of PMS in March but we witnessed price band control up till August 2020.
“From September, the price band control was withdrawn with the hope that full deregulation would lick off. But what we have been experiencing is monopolistic deregulation.”
Osatuyi, commended President Buhari administration on the gas policy launched in the year, particularly the autogas programme.
“Apart from reducing or total stoppage of gas importation into the country, the seriousness of the Federal Government on gas expansion programme will create jobs through the production and supply chain mechanism.” He said.