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‘Plummeting crude oil prices, an opportunity for Nigeria’

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Oil marketers under the umbrella of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have reiterated that the global reduction in crude oil prices has presented Nigeria with the opportunity to reform and restructure its petroleum downstream industry.

MOMAN Chairman, Tunji Oyebanji, while interacting with journalists, said the fall in oil prices would also open up petrol (PMS) Importation by bringing multiple players to participate in the importation, while appealing to government to review industry margins.

He said that removing fuel subsidy at the period of the drop in prices would eliminate waste, address the issue of the low margin of marketers, as well as, set the country on the path of determining appropriate pricing for the product in the country.

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He also advocated the need for the restructuring of the nation’s downstream oil industry in order to set it on the path to sustainability.

He said: “The elimination of oil theft and leakages in the system, the optimization of the supply chain, the introduction of alternative energies and the regular and consistent maintenance of the distribution infrastructure are all necessary aspects of this downstream reform, which the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will provide an opportunity for the country to resolve once and for all’’.

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According to him, MOMAN believes that an immediate increase in margins is necessary to halt the further degeneration of the petroleum distribution infrastructure.

“The restructuring or reform of the downstream oil industry is necessary”, he added Oyebanji, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, 11Plc said his group recently attended a working session with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari on the ills in the nation’s downstream petroleum industry, expressed that MOMAN will not support fuel theft, fuel adulteration or illegal refining of petroleum products by unlicensed entities.

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He added that MOMAN would collaborate with its business partners such as dealers and transporters to support the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to eliminate these malpractices.

He expressed MOMAN’s support for the federal government’s drive for the full exploitation of the country’s gas reserves including deepening the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the country.

He disclosed that his group is prepared to invest in the safe installation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities in its stations across the country, adding that the development will eliminate the unsafe practice of dispensing cooking gas through unlicensed roadside vendors.

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‘’With respect to Compressed Natural Gas(CNG), MOMAN encourages immediate engagements with the private sector to identify policy measures that will make deployment of CNG at retail outlets a reality for the country in the shortest possible time.

“MOMAN will collaborate with government and other stakeholders in implementing any such initiative,” he added.

He also announced that MOMAN has partnered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and NARTO to float truck fleet renewal plan, stressing that the partners would engage the Finance industry on funding the scheme for the country.

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He added that the program would contribute significantly to the reduction of loss of lives and property, engendered by the distribution of petroleum products in the country.

‘’Ultimately, the degradation and deterioration of the truck fleet as well as the inability of the downstream oil industry to upgrade its equipment and facilities, presents a risk to the distribution infrastructure.

“Refineries, depots, pipelines, trucks and filling stations are all in need of regular maintenance and upgrade. These maintenance and upgrade are funded by industry margin’.

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