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The announcement by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu regarding the phase-out of the fuel subsidy regime has been praised and endorsed by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, as well as the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN).

The Marketers expressed their appreciation for the Tinubu administration’s policy clarity in a statement from Lagos, a direction that denotes a brave and realistic change in the country’s economic trajectory. We wish to stress that there is no cause for concern in view of the guarantees provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA). “We strongly advise Nigerians to avoid stockpiling or buying gasoline in a frenzy. The statement said, “This behavior not only creates artificial scarcity but also poses a significant safety hazard.”

The marketers pointed out that the NNPCL has guaranteed Nigerians a sufficient supply of fuel and the NMDPRA is closely coordinating with stakeholders to achieve a smooth transition. “They are ensuring that the distribution networks are unwavering, making fuel easily accessible at all filling stations across the entire country. “We are encouraged by the administration’s plans to focus these enormous sums of money into crucial public goods like infrastructure, education, and healthcare instead of solely fiscal reform; doing so represents a big step toward social fairness.

“These investments represent our common future and hold great potential for long-term gains for all Nigerians. We are aware of the worries associated with possible price rises. However, given that NNPCL is still the only supplier of the product at the moment, we anticipate marketers to keep prices competitive.

Considering that the product’s cost accounts for 80% of the pump price, we expect little change in distribution expenses. We promise to carefully control these distribution expenses in order to reduce their impact on the pump price in cooperation with the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and other significant stakeholders.

In an effort to diversify the supply of petroleum products and increase market competitiveness, we anxiously anticipate the day when the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and other authorized importers join the present supplier. In order to advocate for stability in the oil sector during this transitional phase, MOMAN and DAPPMAN will continue to have open communications with the Federal Government. They declared, “We are ready to support any government actions that will lessen the effects on the general public.

On its part, IPMAN commended President Tinubu for his audacious vision and appreciated the withdrawal of subsidies as indicated. IPMAN, according to Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, the Association’s national president, IPMAN is prepared to work with this administration to advance greater economic equality and prosperity for all Nigerians. In the meantime, IPMAN has pushed for the quick release of goods that its members have long paid for but not yet used. Okoronkwo, revealed that some of his members had paid more than a month earlier but had not yet gotten the goods. Should there be any changes to the price of gasoline at the pump, this would equate to double payment. He said though his Association is in support of the policy, his members who trade with borrowed funds should be allowed to access products earlier paid for and given time to sell the products before any adjustments.

However, it is crucial to remember that the elimination of subsidies may result in immediate difficulties, such as possible price rises as we are experiencing presently with PMS, and it cannot be ascertained yet if this new development will affect the price of AGO and MGO as well, although with careful preparation these difficulties can be overcome with the help of focused social safety net initiatives and moderate increases in fuel prices. We send our best wishes to the new president so that he can make the most of the no-subsidy system.

Source:  Oriental, Vanguard Ng, Punch News

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