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FG cloudy, insincere with deregulation—Oil marketers allege

Nigerian oil and gas marketers this week accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to the implementation of total deregulation of the downstream oil sector.

In their views, they argue that as it affects domestic consumption of premium motor spirit (PMS) or petrol, the government is yet to get it right.

The government had, a long time ago, deregulated the market of diesel, aviation fuel and cooking fuel known as kerosene. Acting under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the group faulted the meddlesomeness of the government at interfering with the pump price of the product; a situation it said is antithetical to the spirit of deregulation. Its Chairman, Tunji Oyebanji, in a telephone conversation, said as the situation stood today, the Federal Government is still determining the pump price of the product in the market, arguing that the preference of the marketers is an authentic deregulation in which case, the market forces of demand and supply determine the prices that are agreeable to the final consumers. Oyebanji, who is the CEO of 11 Plc, said what the Federal Government says is different from what it does.

According to him, “What the government says is that it wants deregulation. However, we from time to time we see situations that are confusing such as the announcement that the government and labour have agreed to a certain reduction in the pump price of petrol”.