IPMAN says hike in petrol price is inevitable

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Speculations of possible increase in price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol, may not be considered mere, as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Thursday, warned of threat to product availability in the country, as it is gripped with series of challenges confronting the petroleum sector.

This came as experts have blamed marketers of insensitivity to price moderation when government placed a cap on petrol price in May. But, other operators have argued that the price of petrol is driven by laws of economics, which cannot be altered for a long time, and as such is expected to increase giving the current challenges of FOREX and others. Speaking to Vanguard, National President, IPMAN, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, stated that flexible way to assessing FOREX has been given rather than black market dependence for the purpose of importing critical items to the country.

He said, “But I will advise for total deregulation. The price moderation, which is the cap placed is not healthy for the petroleum industry to grow. “There are people who have the FOREX to bring product and sell. By so doing, FOREX will crash. But when the industry is over protected like ours, the current challenges will be unending. The market force should drive the price.” He stressed that, “If the refineries are working to a good capacity like 70 percent, the product will not be less than N130 per litre. We should focus on making the refineries work. Because by the time you keep on importing, FOREX challenges will keep on re-occurring and there would no head way.

“The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC should ensure that the refineries are working, as well as the government should grant all support needed to ensure that they work so the country can avert all of the turbulence hitting the petroleum sector as well as the economy.” He added that the industry should be like any other sector in this country. “The best way to do that is for the government to hands off, and sometime coming in to intervene when need arise.”

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