President Buhari is said to have rejected a move by oil marketers for the federal government to increase fuel price. The president also rejected the re-introduction of scrapped fuel subsidy.
The pressure to effect a price rise in petroleum price from N145 per litre is coming amidst the current fuel scarcity biting hard across the country, the Nation reports.
Government sources claim the administration is concentrating on finding permanent solutions to the recurring fuel crisis including checkmating sabotage by some marketers and stakeholders, and putting all the nation’s 23 depots in 100 per cent shape.
Oil marketers are said to be unwilling to import products because of low or insignificant profit margin and are subsequently seeking full deregulation of petroleum products.
One of the sources had this to say: �The key issue is price war. The marketers have made representation to the federal government and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to allow price hike of petroleum products and leave the sector to market forces.
�The President and senior government officials are however opposed to price hike because of its spiral effects on the socio-economic life of the nation. It also has grave political implications for the survival of the present government.
�In the last few months, the government has been trying to cope through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) until there was stress in the supply chain following threats by PENGASSAN and the challenge in Lagos.”
A stakeholder said: �We import refined products as a nation. Once the prices of crude increase at the international market, they have effects on the cost of refined products being brought into our country.
�The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is between N165 and N170 per litre. The marketers are claiming that the profit margin is insignificant and they cannot recover cost, they say they need to top up prices since they no longer enjoy subsidy.
�Initially, the same marketers said they had subsidy arrears to collect from the government and they will not import products. The arrears have not been appropriated for by the National Assembly and there was nothing the government can do.”
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