May 20, 2024
FUEL SUBSIDY: What Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu should do
Why I removed Nigeria’s fuel subsidy in my inauguration address ---- President Tinubu
– By Alison Godswill

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FUEL SUBSIDY: What Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu should do

By Dame Winifred Akpani

We thank our president most graciously for the opportunity to meet so early in his administration. We congratulate you most sincerely on your resounding victory following the general elections. We are here today, to express our unwavering support for your administration.

Our confidence stems from your clear credentials of exceptional, visionary, and selfless service in both private and public sectors. As a former senator and subsequently, two-term governor of performing and cosmopolitan Lagos state, we have no doubt that you are very well prepared to move this country to greater heights.

This team of marketers representing the entire downstream sector of the petroleum industry hereby lends full support to your very first audacious step of deregulating our industry. Mr. President, we salute your courage and resolve and we stand solidly behind you, 100%.

Very tough decision, no doubt, but we believe this is the beginning of a greater Nigeria. The ensuing challenges will be enormous for all including the operators applauding this move. But we are determined to work with your administration to ensure this all-important decision succeeds. We believe the government is putting together interventions to cushion the effects on the populace in the light of expected rise in the cost of living. We are committed to proffering some level of support to the government in this regard.

We are aware that among the populace, there is a perennial challenge of inadequate understanding and perceived opaqueness in the reallocation of savings from withdrawn benefits such as subsidy removal. To this end, we shall intensify public enlightenment and ensure our costs are most efficiently managed to deliver value at competitive pump prices.

In furtherance of this contribution, we volunteer to be part of the government’s team that will work on the interventions. On our part, we pledge to ensure a healthy and robust petroleum industry ensuring an adequate supply of petroleum products at highly competitive prices.

Nigerians will not have to suffer in petrol queues any longer. Our years of experience in the trade and distribution of petroleum products will ensure efficiency in product sourcing and delivery. The forces of demand and supply will naturally promote competition and efficiency and prevent price gouging. Deregulation will attract further investments in infrastructure and the employment of teeming Nigerian youths.

To achieve a steady and strong downstream industry, it is pertinent that the full support of the government is assured. We applaud Mr. President’s statement on harmonization to a single foreign exchange rate. This is critical as this will eliminate arbitrage and provide a level playing field in our industry in particular and the Nigerian economy at large. This will also ensure the highest quality of product supply at the best prices.

Our further humble request to the president is as follows: 1) that all dues and levies to government agencies particularly the NPA Plc and NIMASA be reduced to the barest minimum and payable in naira. This will drastically reduce the pressure on our foreign exchange rate, and reserve and keep in check the pump price of petrol.

2) That all charges and taxes imposed by the regulator, NMDPRA as stipulated in the PIA 2021 be suspended until we achieve market stability.

3) That the 2.5% security deposit requested by NNPC Limited for all purchases be scrapped as they never overload marketers.

4) a revision of the clause in the PIA 2021 which restricts importation to only companies with active local refining licenses and /or proven track records of international crude oil and petroleum products trading. [s.318 (9)].

In conclusion, we would add that stability in the petroleum industry will ultimately lead to the much-needed energy transition. We anticipate less dependence on fossil fuels which will result in more investment and faster development of gas and electricity as alternative sources of energy. Your Excellency, we thank you once again for this opportunity and pray that our beloved nation will experience sustainable growth and economic prosperity under your astute leadership may god bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

.Being the full presentation by Dame Winifred Akpani, chairman, DAPPMAN during a visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja on Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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