MOMAN rules out strike option, says more firms under pressure
Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria has ruled out the option of going on strike in its quest for the payment of subsidy arrears owed its members.
The association said given the realities on the ground, more of its members were bound to run into serious financial problems if government abandons the payment programme for its members on account of the forthcoming elections.
The Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Clement Isong, told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that any attempt by MOMAN members to go on strike in protest for subsidy arrears payment, would be misconstrued as being politically motivated.
Isong assured Nigerians that MOMAN would not act s an impediment in the country’s political wheel, but stressed that it would not be wise for the government to watch while more Nigerians were thrown into the saturated labour market as a result of oil marketers’ inability to continue their normal business.
According to him, the current subsidy regime is unsustainable, and the earlier stakeholders deliberate on the way forward in terms of deregulating the down segment of the country’s petroleum industry, the better it would be for Nigerians.
“Now, it is obvious that we have to deregulate the sector. If the government does not want to fully deregulate the sector, it should present its ideal model to stakeholders, so that we all can sit down and chart the path forward for the industry,” he said.
With the issue of deregulation being enshrined in the business model of government for the downstream sector since 1980’s, successive governments have continued to shy away from the option.
Isong, therefore, argued that currently, it has become far cheaper to import petroleum products from super-mega refineries in the world than refining the product in-country owing to issues bordering on economies of scale.
The MOMAN ES stated: “Now, imported fuel will be cheaper compared to locally refined ones. This is because we are in the era of super-mega refineries and traders.
“Our small private refineries do not have the capacity to compete with massive foreign refineries. This has to do with economies of scale, which guarantees that mega-supper refineries abroad can produce at very cheap cost compared to their small counterparts in Nigeria.”