Amid the lingering fuel scarcity rocking the country, oil marketers have urged the Federal Government to put an end to the monopolistic privilege enjoyed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The marketers under the auspices of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria said this during a briefing with newsmen said as part of permanent measures to curb fuel scarcity which has become a frequent phenomenon in the country of late.
According to them, other marketers should also be given a free and fair play in the importation of products.
NNPC currently enjoys monopoly on importation and supply of petroleum products into the country but oil marketers said the market situation was creating more problems for the country.
Oil marketers have consistently complained about their inability to import products due to forex scarcity, rising inflation, including excess and multiple import charges and taxes by the Customs and relevant government agencies.
According to Chairman of the Association, Olumide Adeosun, the current scarcity of petrol was occasioned by supply inadequacy in the last few weeks as well as distribution challenges created by the unavailability and continuous surge in international prices of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
“In the interim, MOMAN recommends that the current single supplier strategy be reviewed.
“MOMAN, as an Association, fears that the current supply framework cannot guarantee steady and consistent supplies to the country given the current state of government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages. We, therefore, recommend a gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives (eg. transport and agricultural subsidies) to the public to ease implementation,” MOMAN said.
It also recommended that that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant MDAs, set up a taskforce to immediately focus on increasing diesel supply through accelerated initiatives to increase local modular refining capacity.