The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has opposed the declaration by President Bola Tinubu to end subsidy regime.
It said fuel pump price may rise to N500 per litre following the removal of petrol subsidy and the harmonisation of foreign exchange rates by the new government.
IPMAN confirmed that there will be increase in fuel price following the removal of subsidy by the new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It stated that the resurgence of queues in parts of the country is caused by panic buying by Nigerians.
The announcement of subsidy removal triggered a rush to filling stations as consumers moved to buy fuel at the current official pump price of N185. The panic-buying led to long queues at some of the petrol stations selling the product.
However, reacting on the development IPMAN said it was opposed to the new president’s subsidy removal plan
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said the new government should dialogue with marketers before taking the decision to remove subsidy.
“We are not in support of the removal of fuel subsidy at this time. We have said it repeatedly that our refineries should be fixed before taking such decision that will cause galloping inflation and inflict more hardship on the masses.
“The government of President Tinubu should not adopt what is in the transition document handed over to it by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. Someone (Buhari) who for eight years did not remove subsidy is advising a new government to remove it.
“That is not fair and should not be adopted. Rather the new government should sit and discuss with marketers and other stakeholders on how to manage the fuel subsidy regime. We now have the Dangote Refinery, but all our refineries are still not working, so we don’t think removing subsidy is the right thing to do now,” Ukadike stated.
He said IPMAN was ready to work with the new government and would proffer measures to address the fuel subsidy regime, instead of effecting an outright halt in subsidy.
Queues for petrol resurfaced in parts of the country shortly after President Bola Tinubu announced the cancellation of petrol subsidy.
In response to the situation, Mike Osatuyi, national operations controller of IPMAN disclosed that the reflexive action of customers who wanted to stock up on cheap petrol before the price of the product increased was to blame for the unprecedented level of queues.
“The queue has to do with the announcement made by the president. People want to refill their tanks so that they can buy it at a good price before the price increases,” he said.
“Now that subsidy has gone, it has gone for life. And now, there is fairness for Nigeria as a country. Some marketers are the beneficiaries of the subsidy, including smugglers.
“But as the president has said, whatever the gain on the subsidy is, it will be used for infrastructure. Now that they (the new administration) want to have a unified foreign exchange, everyone can buy and import on the same platform.
“Nobody will buy yam and give me small for just one percent and take 90 percent and say he is doing business. That is where we are.”
When asked about the product’s availability, Osatuyi said there is currently enough stock to supply the nation, but that there would be a price increase.
“No, there would not be scarcity, but the problem is that there is going to be an increase in price,” he said.
However, he said the removal of the subsidy will benefit the general public and result in the improvement of infrastructure and the building of good roads.
When asked what price the product is likely to rise to, he said: “It is going to be determined by market forces, and then it has to do with the exchange rate and the crude price. That is going to be the determinant of the price.