Marketers Seek End To Petrol Smuggling, Investment In Transport Infrastructure

Yemisi Izuora

A Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework Workshop organised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission [FCCPC], in collaboration with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, in Lagos, has focused on how the country can tackle petroleum products smuggling across borders.

The workshop observed that streamlining consumption will further help to reduce subsidy payment both in the electricity and oil and gas sectors.

Olumide Adeosun, Chairman of MOMAN in his remarks believes that Nigeria needs to gradually reduce the subsidy of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS also called petrol while investing and perhaps subsidizing mass transportation and productive activities in such areas such as agriculture.

Adeosun said, everyone has a role to play at this critical moment as there is need to reduce consumption and find other ways to weather the current energy crisis as no Government can make this painless.

Predictably, as a country, we shall be faced by the choice of queues and unavailability of products or increases in price at the right pace to make product available, he said.

Adeosun explained that MOMAN appreciates the challenges the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Limited, NNPC face in making the product available despite the restrictive supply environment, extremely high international products costs and the almost insurmountable international logistics challenges occasioned by the unavailability of diesel and its ubiquitous place in the supply chain.

He informed the gathering that there is an energy crisis impacting the world, developed and developing countries alike, similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding, “Countries have different approaches of dealing with the problem. There is some energy nationalism going on, leading to some major refining countries hoarding petroleum products like diesel for local use as was the case with COVID-19 vaccines.”

According to him, Some developing countries are subsidizing the cost, leading to widespread outages in those countries. Most countries are allowing the price to adjust, leading to higher prices but with product availability.

“Having subsidized PMS for so long, Nigerian institutions now have a diminished capacity to deal with the current international energy crisis. If the country had spent monies spent on subsidies on education, health and infrastructure, Nigerians and Nigerian businesses would have been better equipped to face today’s energy challenges.”

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