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Oil Marketers Beg FG For Tax Holidays, Agree To N145
14 January 2018, 12:29 | Opal Carroll
Nigeria has no plan to hike petrol price – Minister
He said there was no evidence to punish any marketer for hoarding petrol, assuring all stakeholders that part of the demands of the meeting was to name marketers who erred.
"It would take 18 months to address problems of scarcity, price stability and other issues relating to the supply of petroleum products".
The middlemen in the chain are to be eliminated in one of the moves to combat fuel scarcity.
According to him, there is no evidence to show that the marketers are hoarding the product, and as such, there is no reason to punish them.
Kachikwu said this on Thursday when he appeared before the senate committee on petroleum (downstream).
But the marketers revoked their decision in Abuja on Wednesday at the meeting set up by the federal government to get the oil markerters commence importation of refined petroleum products.
He said, "When we went out today, we discovered some stations have actually diverted products and they take products to filling stations, discharge one or two compartments in the presence of the officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and thereafter take the products somewhere else".
Also in his presentation before the Joint NASS Committee on the Fuel Situation, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the corporation had made arrangements to import additional Cargoes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) between January and March 2018, with a view to keeping the Country wet, in addition to ensuring a beef-up of the nation's strategic reserves.
Addressing State House Correspondents after a meeting convened by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, at the presidential villa to discuss the crisis of petroleum product scarcity experienced during the Yuletide season, Kachikwu said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the setting up of an ad-hoc committee after yesterday's meeting.
"Since the price of crude is directly proportional to refined products, we can not import petrol and sell at N145 anymore". And this business is a partnership between marketers and NNPC.
Another IPMAN leader, Aminu Abdulkadir, said he was optimistic that there would be full disclosure on plans and ways of augmenting marketers shortfall, to enable them resume importation of products, since NNPC alone did not have all the capacity to handle the situation.
On subsidy, the DAPPMAN leader said at the moment there was no subsidy to marketers, as government chose to cap the fuel price at N145 per litre.
A motorist, Oladele Toba, who spoke with NAN, expressed joy over this development and said, "The visible queue you see in the mega station is because they dispense at N143 per liter, even below the government regulated price of N145". The government believes Nigerians should not be made to buy fuel for more than N145.
On how close the government is to that lasting solution, the minister responded: "We are going to sit down and find lasting solution".
So if that is to remain, then we have to find other ways to manage the situation so that we will continue to sell fuel at N145. "So, government has to find a way and ensure that marketers import alongside NNPC and still sell at N145", Mr. Abiodun said. "As far as we are concerned, there is no subsidy in the budget, as far as we are concerned, marketers can not import and sell at N145".
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