The Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) has kicked against the proposed scrapping of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).
President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, who disclosed this said IPMAN is faulting the recommendation contained in the draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill, calling for the scrapping of the Petroleum Equalization Fund by some stakeholders in the industry.
According to Okoronkwo, such a call was not appropriate because the funds employed in the effective administration of the PEF were sourced from the revenue pool generated by the product marketing companies.
The major oil marketers said “the PEF was very relevant as our country was progressing towards the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector”, adding that in order to unite the country, “there must be a semblance of uniformity in prices of petroleum products all over. We are not saying that there might not be a difference in prices, but it should be minimal”, reports the Premium Times.
Okoronkwo further urged the Federal Government to create a level playing ground in the downstream sector by providing foreign exchange for marketers to import fuel at the same rate given to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He argued that marketers should be allowed to go out and bring in petrol instead of NNPC alone, importing the product.
According to him “some marketers already have their own vessels, which may reduce the freight cost. What we want is for the government to allow the full deregulation of the sector and allow market forces to determine the price“.
The Petroleum Equalisation Fund was set up by Decree 9 of 1975 (as amended by Decree Number 32 of 1989), which is now chapter 352 of the Laws of the Federation.
Its main function is to ensure price uniformity of petroleum products via the reimbursement of marketers for losses they incur in trucking products from depots to their filling stations in any part of the country.