Mr Benneth Korie, National President, Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA)

High PMS Price: Association tasks FG on diesel price, PEF claims, others

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By Emmanuella Anokam

The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has urged the Federal Government to give priority to the importation of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal.

The association appealed to the government to hasten completion of road rehabilitation nationwide and pay marketers their Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) claims, adding that they were being owed before the deregulation.

Mr Benneth Korie, the National President of the association, while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja said removing fuel subsidy was not an issue but addressing its associated problems should be paramount.

Korie said high cost of AGO called Diesel, ranging from N700 to N800 per litre and was used to fuel trucks to transport Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), called fuel was affecting its cost too.

“If the diesel is high, expect the PMS price to be high, the only way out is to give priority to diesel, because the industries, construction and transportation companies use diesel.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should give priority to diesel importation. We want the price of PMS to go down. The only way out is to bring the diesel price down to help the economy, not just subsidy removal, we need to consider all these.

“I am happy they are talking about exchange rates to be uniformed, but we need exchange rates to be lower not the N750 rate that we are buying.

“If you land your product with N750 you will know how much it is, so we need government intervention in this area too, not just subsidy removal.

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“Now that subsidy is removed, we should not hope only on Dangote refinery, we should also talk about Kaduna and Warri refineries and get the so called Port Harcourt refinery to start refining to reduce PMS price.

“The marketers are feeling the impact of the high price, not just only Nigerians because it cost money to run the business, if nothing is done a lot of marketers will be out of business ,’’ he said.

On the PEF claims, he stated that though figures of amount being owed the association would be discussed at its National Executive Council meeting, slated for July, adding that his company was being owed about N300 million.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had recently said for petroleum marketers to receive equalisation fund there must be account reconciliation at the Authority.

The Authority said refusal to indulge in reconciliation of account always caused hindrance towards PEF payment.

The president however said the association did not receive any invitation letter for account reconciliation from the Authority, and would be willing to go for it.

“Please pay marketers their PEF claims otherwise, if the claims are not paid, we will not get fuel to sell. Even though we support the removal of fuel subsidy but the need to pay PEF claims is important.

“Again the issue of road is another problem, some of these roads are bad, so if you remove subsidy, kindly use the money to fix the road.

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“Again the issue of high interest of 28 to 30 per cent to obtain loan from the bank should be addressed,’’ he said.

He also appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) to load the marketer’s products that had been paid three months before the subsidy removal.

He said some of the marketers did not have money to pay for differentials, adding that immediately subsidy removal on PMS was announced, in less than an hour the price changed which affected a lot of marketers.

“Now you are telling marketers to come and pay the difference, where are we going to get the money, be fair to us, allow us to load our product at the old price we paid before the removal.

“One tanker before at about 45,000 litres was about seven million Naira, but in less than an hour after the pronouncement rose above N20 million.

He said NNPC Ltd was just like any other petroleum marketer in Nigeria but people misquoted them saying they fixed price rather they considered the landing cost because of the removal and arrived at the price.

“We are expecting CBN to come up with uniform price of exchange rates we want the price of PMS to be lower than this he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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