PENGASSAN To FG: Stop Fuel Subsidy, Revive Refineries
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to stop subsidising Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
It also called on the government to ensure the speedy rehabilitation of Nigeria’s refineries, stressing that this would help ease the hardship that could arise from the halt of fuel subsidy.
PENGASSAN’s President, Festus Osifo, disclosed this while speaking with journalists at the National Executive Council meeting of the association in Abuja.
Asked whether PENGASSAN was in support of fuel subsidy removal in absence of any functional domestic refinery, Osifo replied, “Yes!”
He said some things must be considered, adding that “today, you look at the cost of importation of PMS and even the cost to produce locally, because the primary source is crude, and that crude is sold at international price.
“The crude cost contribute over 80 to 90 per cent of the overall PMS cost.”
On why it was vital to rehabilitate refineries fast, Osifo said this would assist in ensuring adequate fuel supply across the country.
He explained that functional local refineries would not only increase the country’s revenue base, it would also provide more job opportunities, as well as end the uncertainties in the fuel subsidy regime and product importation.
“While maintaining our support for the full deregulation of the sector and acknowledging the significant milestones achieved in this regard, we counsel that efforts be made to increase the pace of the current refineries rehabilitation and get them back on stream in no time,” Osifo stated.
He further stated that the leadership of PENGASSAN had been following up with its members in NNPC Trading Limited and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority in various depots and terminals on the need to carry out their functions expeditiously.
“Our association restates the commitment to continue its advocacy on the need to fix the nation’s refineries, and with the inclusion of PENGASSAN in the steering committee as set up by NNPC, we shall continue the agitation for the rehabilitation of the four refineries through engagement with other relevant stakeholders,” he stated.