The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has called for a review of the current arrangement, which leaves the country dependent on a single supplier for the supply of petrol, to address the ongoing shortage of petroleum products, particularly premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), the only importer of PMS in the nation, has received authorisation to spend a minimum of N4 trillion on subsidy payments this year.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, MOMAN Chairman Olumide Adeosun highlighted that the current fuel shortage is a result of inadequate supply in recent weeks and distribution issues brought on by the lack of availability and ongoing increase in the price of automotive gas oil internationally (diesel).
Given the situation of the government’s finances right now and the unpredictability of supply shortages abroad, MOMAN raised concerns that the current supply system could not ensure continuous and consistent deliveries to the nation.
Adeosun claimed that since May, the nation’s gasoline supply has been declining. According to him, Apapa received 438,800 tonnes of PMS in April, 213,000 tonnes in May, and barely 140,000 tonnes in June, with another 64,000 tonnes still being loaded as of yesterday.
Adeosun responded that there is a need for constant supply when asked when the lines would end, adding that the government has guaranteed that 34 days’ worth of energy will be available.
In order to make implementation easier, it advised targeted palliatives (via transportation and agricultural subsidies) and gradual price deregulation.
“MOMAN sympathizes with its consumers as we all struggle with the ongoing lack of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in different regions of the country.
In order to make the product (petrol) available at the pumps and shorten the lines as soon as feasible, he stated, “MOMAN members are working with The Authority, NNPC/PPMC, NARTO and other industry stakeholders.”
The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources should establish a task force to immediately focus on increasing diesel supply through accelerated initiatives to increase local modular refining capacity, according to Adeosun, who also said MOMAN recommends that the current single supplier strategy be reviewed.
According to MOMAN, this action will address the problems with supply and distribution.
The marketers added that the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 clearly remain the most workable long-term solutions to the nation’s supply and distribution challenges. They also suggested phased rehabilitation of existing NNPC refineries to speed up the supply of middle distillates (AGO & ATK).
“MOMAN recognizes and closely identifies with the need to address issues relating to high energy and transportation costs resulting from unrelated factors.”
In order to ensure the sustainability and institutionalization of a successful petroleum downstream sector in Nigeria, Adeosun continued, “MOMAN shall continuously do its best to distribute gasoline to its customers across the country and keep exploring opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, The Authority, and the Government.