The real market price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol has hit N241 per litre. This is creating a deficit of N76 per litre on every litre of the product sold at N165 subsidised price presently in place across the country. Oil marketers, who declared this yesterday, maintained that the foot dragging on subsidy removal was digging Nigeria into “terrible economic misfortune.”
National Operations Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria,Mr. Mike Osatuyi, who said this in an interview with New Telegraph, maintained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was not a non-government organisation (NGO).
“It is a corporation set up to make profit and as the reality is dawning on everyone now, it can no longer pay subsidy and pay into FAAC at the same time,” he said in a telephone interview with this newspaper. “N241 is the spot pump price of petrol as at today (yesterday). That is the real price the product is supposed to sell at filling stations across the country based on the crude oil price and other international marker fundamentals. “Last month, the price was at N238 per litre. But all marketers were asked to sell the product at between N162 and N165 per litre. With these, Nigeria, through the NNPC records, has a deficit of at least N76 on every litre sold at filling station.
“In all these, you will agree with me that the money has to come from somewhere. The NNPC is not a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or a nonfor- profit organisation. The subsidy is a serious burden for NNPC.
It is a serious burden for Nigeria. It is digging the country into deeper economic misfortunes.” “I have said it times without number that the subsidy regime has to end. That is the position of IPMAN. “The government usually invites marketers for meetings to discuss and we have been doing this as a group with the interest of Nigeria at heart. We have always been clamouring for removal of subsidy.” Asked whether the government is willing to yield to the call of IPMAN on subsidy removal, Osatuyi maintained that the meeting with government had been resourceful.
“The government is already lining up heavy investments for gas to serve as alternative to petrol. The government is feeling the heat of subsidy and it has been doing everything within its means to address the issue of subsidy,” he said.
A financial policy analyst, Mrs. Monsurat Hassan- Hamzat, corroborated Osatuyi’s view. She told New Telegraph that the implication of NNPC not contributing to FAAC was that there will be little or nothing to share by the government at the three tiers of government by May. “What this means is that we have traded development for fuel subsidy.
We have replaced what we are supposed to use to fund the states to subsidise petrol. “And, now that the NNPC might not be able to contribute to the vault, we will all understand the implication of foot-dragging on removal of subsidy,” she said.
Acknowledging that government all over the world engaged in subsidising some essential products or commodities, Hassan-Hamzat noted that petrol was now on the list of elitist products, which, based on reality on ground in the country, does not require subsidy any longer.