By Joseph Afam Okafor, Energy Markets Editor
29 January 2017, Naija247news, Abuja – The federal government and major oil marketers in the nation’s downstream sector have reached an agreement to retain the cost of Premium Motor Sprit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, at the current price of N145 per litre.
This position was reached at the end of a two-day consultative forum of the downstream petroleum sector convened by the presidency earlier in the week, the two sides said they had harmonised efforts at ensuring regular supply of petroleum products across the country.
A statement released to the media at the end of the meeting in Abuja noted that, on their part, the marketers said they had resolved to support the federal government’s effort in ensuring sustained and stable supply of petroleum products across the country at the government approved rates.
There had been apprehension that the federal government was planning to increase the pump price of petrol after marketers complained that the landing cost of the refined products could no longer be sustained the price of N145 per litre.
However, according to a statement from the presidency yesterday, the stakeholders have resolved to work together towards fixing the challenges confronting the nation’s petroleum industry.
The marketers, under the umbrella of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), were said to have agreed with the federal government on the need to address issues that may impede the uninterrupted supply of petroleum product and lead to price distortions.
The forum, according to the statement, also had discussions on designing proactive measures that will balance supplies and the need to create an affordable and stable price regime for deregulated products such as AGO and ATK whose prices, in recent times, have been volatile.
On the federal government’s team at the meeting were the chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari; minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; minister of state (aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika; Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele; group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru; director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), Musa Daura.
The private sector and labour team was led by the chief executive officers (CEOs) of MOMAN, DAPPMA and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), top executives of the NNPC, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and various labour leaders including the Nigeria Labour Congreess (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), NARTO, Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
At the meeting, various frameworks and options for the reconciliation and resolution of outstanding subsidy claims from previous years were addressed. Some of the issues include forex differential, delayed payments interest and bridging claims, which, when resolved, would boost and sustain fuel supply.
The federal government was said to have also stressed the importance of continued private sector participation in the entire downstream sector value chain and, as such, set up a committee to review and agree on a structure that will sustain the current deregulation programme.
The statement read in part: “The forum also deliberated on significant reduction in price of AGO (diesel) at all MOMAN member retail channels in order to create a balanced supply system nationwide, immediate importation of ATK (aviation fuel) to stem the current shortfall that has affected aviation services in the last few weeks.
“The stakeholders strongly opposed the peddling of refined petroleum products across the Nigerian borders to neighbouring countries and would therefore apply strict sanctions against any member of the oil marketing associations found culpable in this regard.”
MOMAN chairman and group CEO, Forte Oil, Akin Akinfemiwa, in his comments lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for convening the stakeholders’ forum to discuss pertinent issues that will support the effective distribution of petroleum products nationwide stating.
“Our members are committed to ensuring more than sufficient supply of PMS to the nation at the fixed pump price of N145/litre and, to this end, Nigerians have no reason to panic. With the commitments from all the stakeholders present, I am optimistic that Nigeria shall remain the aviation refuelling hub for West Africa.
“To underscore our determination to ensure the success of the initiative, we encourage the public to make use of the whistleblowing platform recently instituted by the government to report any erring member of MOMAN,” he said.