Port Harcourt — The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, has said that it is unacceptable to compare Nigeria with other countries, concerning the pump price of premium motor spirit, also known as fuel.
This is as the Federal Government had said that despite the recent increase in the price of PMS to N162 per litre, petrol prices in Nigeria remain the lowest in the West/Central African sub-regions.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, giving a comparative analysis of petrol prices in the sub-regions ( in Naira equivalent), said while Nigeria was selling fuel at N162/litre; Senegal was selling fuel at N549/litre, while Cameroon and Mali were selling at N449 and N476per litre, respectively.
But PETROAN who described the comparison as unacceptable, said Nigeria was an oil producing country and as such, should fix her refineries instead of depending on importing petroleum products.
PETROAN Chairman in Rivers State, Emmanuel Inimgba, said until Nigeria begins to refinery her oil, the economy will remain static or even worst, as it was shameful that an oil producing nation was depending on imported fuel.
Inimgba insisted that the only solution to Nigeria’s problems in the downstream sector is for the government to allow a full deregulation and also revamp the nation’s four refineries.
“The government said they will fix the four refineries in the country, yet work has not commenced in even one. There must be sincerity of purpose in respect to implementation of government programs.
“Last time the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, visited the Governor of Rivers State, he told the governor of plans to build a third refinery in Rivers State, when the two we have are in comatose.
“So our take is that government should fix the refineries and if for any reason anyone claims fuel is sold above N150 to N300 in other countries, that is not acceptable. Nigeria is an oil producing nation and as such most of these things are subsidized.
“The refineries are not working, what we do is to import petroleum products, is that not shameful? An oil producing country importing petroleum products, and in the process of doing that, the Naira is devalued against the Dollars.
“The solution is to revamped the existing refineries and ensure they operate optimally.
Secondly, let’s go to full deregulation. You will see private tank farms with products, but that of the government is empty, it shows that something is wrong somewhere.”