Anxiety As NNPC, Marketers Await FG, Labour On Petrol Price

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There was anxiety on Sunday in the petrol market over what would be outcome of the deliberations between the Federal Government and the Organised Labour.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), according to its Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari prefers full cost recovery for the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol where the corporation be left to manage the sale of the product in accordance with market fundamentals.

But the Labour unions were currently holding series of deliberations with the government that had kept everyone waiting, guessing and anxious.

Asked how prepared was the NNPC for the resolution of the labour and government, the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, told The Nation that “we are just waiting”.

He however said the NNPC would continue to retain the current ex-depot price pending any directive or announcement from the Federal Government.

Obateru said: “The GMD made everything clear as to the real situation of the position of things. If it was left to us, we (NNPC) would like to recover the full cost of production.

“But the government wants to carry labour along and reach an amicable resolution of the issue as to how it will be done.

“They want to come into agreement as to how the regulation will be effective. So, we (NNPC) are just waiting. But we will continue to charge the same price.

“So, our ex-depot price will remain until such as agreement is reached. We are just waiting for them to come to that amicable resolution. Once it is communicated to us we take the next steps”.

The NNPC spokesman revealed that there was petrol supply was in abundance.

“We have adequate sufficiency. We have no problem product supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday admonished the government to either retain the payment of petrol subsidy or deregulate the petrol price fully.

Its National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, who spoke with The Nation in a telephone interview, said in as much as the product will be available nationwide, the independent marketers were ready to comply with the awaited Federal Government/labour decision in as much as the petrol would be available nationwide.

Maigandi said: “Whatever the government resolve with the labour we are ready to accept provided the product is available nationwide”.

Commenting on the petrol market on phone yesterday, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) Executive Secretary, Mr. Clement Isong noted that members of the association were still buying petrol from NNPC since they could not import.

Asked when the marketers would start importing products, he told The Nation that they were waiting for the Federal Government and labour to come out with their resolution.

He said as law-abiding citizens, the marketers would comply with whatever announcement, the government would make.

His words: “We buy products from the NNPC and we sell to the public. We can’t do anything we just buy from NNPC.

“We are all waiting for government and labour to come to an agreement. We will wait when they are ready we will follow them. We are law-abiding citizens we will follow what the government wants”.

By John Ofikhenua


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