According to Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), falling oil prices in the international market will open up the downstream petroleum subsector as it will allow more players to participate. It is the best time for the Federal Government to deregulate and put the downstream on the path to sustainability.
The reduction in global crude oil prices, it said, is not an ill wind after all.
MOMAN’s Chairman, Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, said the country should take advantage of happenings in the international market.
He said the drop in crude oil price would increase premium motor spirit (petrol) import by bringing in more players to participate in the sector, appealing to the government to review industry margins.
He said removing fuel subsidy in the period of a drop in prices would eliminate waste, address low margin as well as set the country on the path of appropriate product pricing.
He said: “The elimination of oil theft and leakages in the system, the optimization 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 the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will provide an opportunity for the country to resolve once and for all.”
According to him, MOMAN believes that an increase in margins was necessary to halt the further degeneration of the petroleum distribution infrastructure.
“The restructuring or reform of the downstream oil industry is necessary,” he added.
Oyebanji, also the Chief Executive Officer, 11Plc, said his group recently visited the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, to tackle the ills in the downstream petroleum subsector.
He noted that MOMAN would not support fuel theft, fuel adulteration or illegal refining of petroleum products.
He added that MOMAN would collaborate with its business partners to support the Federal Government and the NNPC to eliminate these malpractices.
He expressed MOMAN’s support for the Federal Government’s drive for the exploitation of the gas reserves, including deepening the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
He stated that his group was prepared to invest in the safe installation of LPG facilities in its stations across the country, adding that the development would eliminate the unsafe practice of dispensing cooking gas through unlicensed roadside vendors.
He said: “With respect to 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 the government and other stakeholders in implementing any such initiative.”
MOMAN has partnered the NNPC and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to float truck fleet renewal plan, he said. He added that the partners would engage the finance industry on funding the scheme.
He added that the programme would contribute to the reduction in loss of lives and property.
“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 in need of regular maintenance and upgrade. These maintenance and upgrade are funded by industry margin,” he added.