LAGOS  – The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), weekend implored the Federal Government to consider removing subsidy on petroleum products on the strength of the dwindling crude oil prices caused by the deadly Coronavirus.

Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman of MOMAN, who gave the advice at a press conference in Lagos, said the N450billion the Federal Government for subsidy in the 2020 budget would not add value to the nation’s downstream sector and the lives of Nigerians.

He told reporters that removing fuel subsidy at the period of drop in prices would eliminate waste, address the nagging issue of low margin of marketers as well as set on the country on the path of determining appropriate pricing for the product in the country.

He also advocated the need for the restructuring of the nation’s downstream oil industry in order to set it on the path to progress.

According to him, ’’The elimination of oil theft and leakages in the system, the optimisation of the supply chain, the introduction of alternative energies and the regular and consistent maintenance of the distribution infrastructure are all necessary aspects of this downstream reform, which passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will provide an opportunity for the country to resolve once and for all’’

Oyebanji, who said his group recently attended a working session with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari on the ills in the nation’s downstream petroleum industry, expresse

that MOMAN will not condone fuel theft, fuel adulteration or illegal refining of petroleum products by unlicensed entities.

He added that MOMAN would collaborate with its business partners such as dealers and transporters to support the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to eliminate these malpractices.

He expressed MOMAN’s support for the Federal Government’s drive for the full exploitation of the country’s gas reserves including deepening the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the country.

He disclosed that his group is prepared to invest in the safe installation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities in its stations across the country, adding that the development will eliminate the unsafe practice of dispensing cooking gas through unlicensed roadside vendors.

‘’With respect to Compressed to Compressed Natural Gas(CNG),MOMAN encourages immediate engagements with the private sector to identify policy measures that will make deployment of CNG at retail outlets a reality for the country in the shortest possible time. MOMAN will collaborate with government and other stakeholders in implementing any such initiative’’

He also announced that MOMAN has partnered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and NARTO to float truck fleet renewal, stressing that the partners would engage the Finance industry on funding the scheme for the country.

He added that the programme would contribute significantly to the reduction of loss of lives and property, engendered by the distribution of petroleum products in the country.

‘’Ultimately, the degradation and deterioration of the truck fleet as well as the inability of the downstream oil industry to upgrade its equipment and facilities, presents a risk to the distribution infrastructure. Refineries, depots, pipelines, trucks and filling stations are all in need of regular maintenance and upgrade. These maintenance and upgrade are funded by industry margin’

by Mohammed Shosanya