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Fuel price hike looms as FG meets IPMAN, MOMAN

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Fuel price hike looms as FG meets IPMAN, MOMAN

By Matthew Atungwu

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it was currently engaging oil marketers on issues bordering on the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, fuel queues, bridging claims payment, among others in the downstream oil sector.

It was gathered that the meeting might lead to an upward adjustment in the pump price of petrol, as oil marketers had repeatedly blamed the persistent fuel queues in various parts of Nigeria on the unsustainable cost of PMS.

This came as the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday joined their counterparts in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association to call on the government to gradually raise the price of PMS.

IPMAN and NOGASA had earlier pushed for the upward review of petrol price, as some members of IPMAN had already effected this by selling above the N165/litre government approved price.

Some of them currently dispense petrol at N180/litre and above in many states including Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Niger, amongst others.

When informed on Wednesday about the demands of the various marketers groups, the General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Kimchi Apollo, told newsmen that the government was currently engaging the oil dealers.

The sole importer of petrol into Nigeria – the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, however, insisted that it was not a regulator of oil prices and would not comment on whether the cost of petroleum products would be raised on reduced soon.

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, stated that though the association had informed the government about the issues in the sector, he was unaware of the meeting by the NMDPRA.

He reiterated that the cost of petrol was unsustainable at N165/litre, stressing that some filling stations in Abuja were currently dispensing the product at N185/litre, as they now purchased the commodity above N168/litre from depots.

Shuaibu also noted that the indebtedness of the government to marketers with respect to bridging claims must be settled, otherwise the strike by IPMAN members would hold soon.

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