Fuel marketers disagree on subsidy

A gas station attendant pumps fuel into a customer's car at the NNPC Mega petrol station in Abuja, Nigeria March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RC20NF972FA1

Major and independent fuel marketers yesterday disagreed on whether or not subsidies on fuel should be retained.

The major marketers advised the Federal Government to take advantage of the three rapture n lending rates of the product and end the subsidy regime.

While the independent markers said doing so without getting the nation’s refineries back on stream would inflict more pain on Nigerians.

The two unions stated their positions during brief interviews with our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, shortly after the government blamed the lingering fuel scarcity on greedy marketers.

MOMAN Executive Secretary Clement Isong argued that since petrol sells at about N300 per liter in most states, the government should take advantage of the situation and do away with subsidy, which currently stands at N6.3 trillion.

He added: “I have always said deregulation is the best way forward. The price is down now, it will go up again. We are going to get used to it. It’s a good time, it is an opportunity to remove subsidy.”

But IPMAN National Vice President Maigandi Abubakar advised the government to tarry till all the refineries, including Dangote Refinery, begin operations.

The IPMAN chief said: “If they remove subsidies now, they will subject the masses to a serious crisis of shortage of fuel because there is no commodity in the country. Nigeria heavily relies on importation.”

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