Fuel Scarcity To Continue Till February 2016

Indications have emerged that the ongoing scarcity of petroleum products across the country is one that would linger until February next year. This is as petroleum marketers are reported to have suspended fresh importation of petroleum products despite receiving N413 billion in subsidy claims from the government.

Some marketers who took news into confidence on the vexed issue specifically noted that the alleged plan by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on petrol next year and com­mence full deregulation by January 1, is already unsettling them.

Disclosing that they are in full support of the deregulation of the downstream sector, the marketers lamented that the secrecy surrounding its implementation and take-off date is already causing uncertainty within the sector.
According to an importer,
“Marketers are not against deregulation. But deregulation must be planned for. It must not be a hasty decision. We are entities that invest a lot in importation of petroleum products. If a decision that is to affect us must be taken, then, we must be taken into consideration. For now, uncertainty pervades the sector.”

A source said
“Nigerians are not considering the va­garies involved in deregula­tion. There are speculations that with deregulation, a li­tre of petrol would sell for N97, which is a possibility on one hand. But consid­ering the current price of crude oil which sells for about $38 per barrel, what if this price slides further in the weeks to come and the permutation declines to less than N87 for a litre, who bears the loss?”

The marketer maintained that all these certainties surrounding the downstream sector have further dealt a debilitating blow on the current fuel scarcity.


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