Petrol subsidy: Oil marketers seek flat rate for dollar

Oil marketers on Tuesday advised the Federal Government not to give special advantage to any person or group of persons in the sale of the United States dollars if it wants the removal of subsidy on petrol to succeed.

According to them, the purpose of removing subsidy on petrol will be defeated if the government through the Central Bank of Nigeria sells the dollar at staggered rates.

On Monday, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced that petrol subsidy or under-recovery was gone forever in Nigeria.

Reacting to this, the National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, told our correspondent that the association was in support of the move but stressed that government must make dollar available to marketers.

He said, “We are in support of it. The reason why we support it is that we need to have a situation where market forces will determine the economy of Nigeria.

“However, we advise government that while they remove subsidy on petrol, there should not be any special advantage to selected persons as regards the sale and purchase of dollars.”

He added, “We don’t want a situation where dollar will be sold at staggered rates to the advantage of some persons. They must make sure that everybody buys foreign exchange at the same price and is able to sell their products as determined by market forces.”

On whether Nigerian consumers would be able to pay higher petrol price should the cost of crude oil rebound in future, the PETROAN president insisted that market forces should determine petrol price going forward.

Gillis-Harry said, “Well, the reality is that market forces will determine petrol price.”

According to him, businessmen who are true entrepreneurs should determine the growth of the economy, “just like it is done in most advanced countries of the world.”
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