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Independent marketers charge FG on downstream liberalization

Independent marketers under the aegis of Odu’a Petrol Station Owners and Dealers Association of Nigeria (OPSODAN), has urged the Federal Government to liberalize the downstream sector and allow full participation of all marketers who have the capacity to import and distribute petroleum products effectively.
Speaking with pressmen on Sunday in Lagos, the National President, OPSODAN, who also doubles as the Vice Chairman, Lagos Private Depot Operators, Dr. Kolawole Adewoyin, commended the steps taken by the government to deregulate the downstream sector.
According to him, “it is a welcome development. With time, price of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol will come down just like diesel. We believe that if the sector is liberalized, every competent marketer will be able to import and sell the product. This can only happen under liberalization policy.
“When liberalized, government won’t have to fix pump price of petrol because it is not its business. The government should only ensure effective supervision and regulatory framework to ensure Nigerians are not cheated during the process,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated that “the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should live up to its responsibility by ensuring effective regulation of the sector to avoid sharp practices, under-dispensing and hoarding.”
He stated further that the government should also provide some incentives for small and indigenous marketers, through waivers on import duties, to compete favourably with the majors.
“By so doing, participation of indigenous marketers in product importation will be promoted,” he said.
Moreover, he urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to allow his members to lift products based on old rate “because they have collected over N50billion from us for 20,000 tickets but we are yet to load for over three months when we have made the payment. I think it will be unfair on our part to pay the additional money they are demanding for in order to reflect this new rate.”
It would be recalled that the federal government have been receiving knocks from labour unions and other stakeholders for fixing pump price of petrol at N145 per litre from N86.5 per litre, after it claimed it has deregulated the sector.

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