Although, dust is yet to settle on the proposed removal of subsidy on petroleum products, oil sector players have expressed happiness over the decision saying that it may eventually lead to reduction in the pump price of these products.
Although, a cross section of top players; including importers and marketers who spoke with Shipping Position Weekly on the recent decision of the government to fully deregulate the oil sector agreed that it may affect Nigerian in the short run, eventually, it will turn out to be in the larger interest of the country and her people.
The action has generated divergent opinions, but top players in the sector explained that deregulation was inevitable as the sector was been managed based on wrong premises.
But stakeholders in the sector said that although the action may initially affect the masses drastically but in the long run it will finally put an end to scarcity of petroleum products in Nigeria.
According to them, the fact that petroleum products’ prices will no longer be determined by the government, but by market forces will precipitate appropriate pricing of products.
They allayed fears that removal of the subsidy will leave the masses at the mercies of the importers, thereby giving importers the power to determine the selling price of petroleum products because of the landing fees and all other expenses used in importing the product.
A top official of Capital Oil and Gas Mr. Godfrey Okorie says that “this may not go down well with the people at first, but with this, scarcity of fuel will be a thing of the past and it will also make the market more attractive for investors to come into the Nigerian oil sector and refineries. This will also give room for healthy competition among the marketers, while some maybe selling for N65 another can decide to sell for N59, so it is left to me to choose were I want to buy from”. He however cautioned that the government should be careful in handling the issue so a snot to make it a one sided affair”.
Speaking on the same issue of deregulation, Mr. Olanife Adeoye of Olao Oil Nigeria Limited told our correspondent that “majority of the Nigerian populace may not like this action because it will increase the cost of production, but the truth is that the action might even bring down the price of fuel, just like in the communication sector where there is competition, they all brought down their prices.
According to him, the competition that will follow deregulation will force down prices of petroleum products. The prices can only go down in the long run, he added.