The National Provost of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ezekwesili Maduagwuna, has asked the Federal Government to allow for the total deregulation of the petroleum industry by scrapping the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
Maduagwuna, who is the traditional ruler of Awba Ofemili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, said in as much as IPMAN appreciated the Federal Government for taking the bold step on deregulation, the continued existence of PPPRA and PEF would not allow government to achieve the desired result.
The monarch, who is the national provost of IPMAN, said total deregulation would encourage individuals and organisations to invest in the refining of crude oil.
He said, “Deregulation exposes the oil industry to competitive market, whereby market forces will determine the cost of petroleum products. Having announced deregulation, it has to be total.
“As marketers, we are no longer expected to contribute to the Petroleum Equalisation Fund or be subjected to the dictates of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.
“We want total deregulation because the petroleum products users are accusing marketers of exploitation and profiteering when it is the regulatory agencies in the industry that are determining the pump price.
“All we want is a situation whereby government should cease to control the prices and allow the Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company to merely act as marketers by sourcing their products like other marketers.
“It might be difficult in the first six months, for instance, but after that period, the market will start taking shape. People will start importing their products and may even be selling below what the government is talking about.
“Since the prize of the finished product is determined by the prize of crude oil and the exchange rate, the PPPRA and PPF should be scrapped and that is when Nigerians will really say there is deregulation.”
Maduagwuna said IPMAN was planning to build a refinery in Kogi State and another one in Bayelsa State, adding that the association had entered into discussion with its partners on the issue.