January 6, 2024

FG, NNPC should be commended for maintaining fuel price without subsidy – Petrol retailers

FG, NNPC should be commended for maintaining fuel price without subsidy – Petrol retailers

By Grace Udofia

The Petroleum Retailers Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria said the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) should be commended for being able to stabilize the price of fuel without making subsidy payments.

The National President of the association, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry stated this in an interview with Arise Television on Thursday.

He said, “I think that if subsidy is being paid, we should hear it from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who clearly stated that subsidy is gone on May 29 2023. And we have also not heard from the group CEO of NNPC, Engineer Mele Kyari, and neither have we heard from the MD of NNPC Retail Limited. 

“So, it is absolutely correct that people can have assumpting competitions, associations that are busy working for the interests of Nigerian and their members can also do some projections and speculations as to what’s going on, but the reality is that we can only get accurate information from the source. So, if the government says there is no subsidy, that clearly means there is no subsidy, and that’s the reality.”

Gillis-Harry further stated, “There is so many ways and means that the government can work out the process of how service is given to Nigerians in a way that it does not really tell too badly on the economy. 

“So, if the government has said that they are not paying subsidy and allow petroleum products to rise from where it was about four hundred and something to today’s six hundred and something naira, there is a clear mandate that we cannot go beyond that, and NNPC is managing to make that work. I think we should give them credit and give them kudos.

“Clearly you can see that Nigeria’s price is the lowest anywhere in the world. So, if the President and the NNPC are working out that mechanics of how that should happen, I think, for me, as a leader of the Retail Outlet Owners Association, we should give them credit first, then of course, we should ask questions, questions that are very productive, not questions that will set panic in the system, because we need peace, we need progress.”

Gillis-Harry then revealed that the recently mechanically completed Port-Harcourt Refinery has started to receive crude, and that the team in charge is working to ensure that the refinery is on stream in the coming weeks, as he explained that he had personally visited the refinery with a technically competent team to survey the ongoing work even before the Minister of Petroleum declared it mechanically complete.

The Retailers Association President said, “I am pleased to tell you that, from my experience, I’m in Port-Harcourt right now and I’m still here because I’m monitoring the refinery personally from our association’s point of view, and every other day we try to get updates on that. 

“So, the refinery really mechanically was completed, and I’m aware that the refinery has started receiving crude oil. And I’m also aware that Dr. Onoja, the MD of the refinery, is working hard with his team to ensure that the refinery comes on stream in the coming weeks or the coming days.

“So, that is a good news, and this is from me as critical as I am about what the refineries are doing and what they are not, because we are the ones always asking for a state of emergency to be declared on all the refineries- Kaduna, Warri, and the two refineries in Port-Harcourt. 

“It’s good that the Dangote Refinery is coming up, it has received crude oil. We want to be sure that it does well, and then we will give them the best support as Retail Association to make sure that their products penetrate all the parts of the country seamlessly.”