Blame bad roads for supply challenges
-Say DSS intervention helped
By Obas Esiedesa, ABUJA
PETROLEUM products marketers have urged the Federal Government to shift subsidies from premium motor spirit (petrol) to Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) to reduce the operational cost of distributing petrol across the country.
The independent marketers under the aegis of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, said the high cost of diesel remains a major challenge in the distribution of petrol across the country.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja yesterday, NOGASA National President, Mr. Benneth Korie said independent marketers have also had to rely on loading from private depots owned by major marketers in order to get the product to sell at their filling stations.
Mr. Korie noted that remaining competitive against stations owned by the major marketers was a huge challenge for independents as government-owned depots were empty.
He disclosed that it cost about N70 per litre to move petrol from the depots to filling stations in the northern parts of the country.
“The major cost in the supply of petrol is diesel. The high cost of diesel is the reason for petrol scarcity and the high price of PMS. AGO is used to transport petrol. The vessels or ships that bring in PMS are powered by diesel. The depots and petrol stations are powered by diesel. So diesel is at the heart of petrol distribution.
“I have said this before if you fix the high cost of diesel by lowering the price, it will significantly reduce the pump price of petrol. Subsidy should be on AGO not PMS”, he stated.
He also praised the intervention of the Department of Security Services, DSS, in resolving the petrol supply challenge, saying it helped in easing the difficulties faced by independent marketers.
“The DSS coming in made things easier a bit. They were able to do something that made the process easier”, he added.
He harped on the need to fix roads across the country and also getting the refineries working again, stressing that cost of operations would be significantly lower if these issues are addressed.
Mr. Korie said the marketers have been assured by the government that the Port Harcourt Refinery would become operational in the New Year.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.