As the scarcity of the Premium of Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, continued on Sunday, oil marketers have stated that the cost of the commodity would cross N800/litre once subsidy on PMS is removed.
Industry operators had repeatedly stated that the high cost of subsidy on petrol was a burden on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and was contributory to the prolonged crisis in the downstream oil sector. NNPC is the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, recently suggested that the government should gradually withdraw subsidy on PMS, stressing that the budgetary allocation for subsidy would end in June.
But oil marketers told our correspondent that while it could be advisable to remove subsidy, Nigerians should know that the cost of petrol could cross N800/litre once the commodity was no longer subsidised.
They urged the Federal Government to ensure that all the necessary measures and infrastructure to ensure a less stressful subsidy removal regime were put in place before implementing the decision.
“If the government fails to take the appropriate measures, and they say they want to remove fuel subsidy, the situation will be worse than this, the masses will suffer. How can you remove subsidy and you don’t have this product (petrol),” the Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, stated.
He added, “If the government removes subsidy, where is the product? If you are removing subsidy, maybe by that time, the way diesel is sold at between N800 – N900/litre, we could be buying petrol at N800/litre, if not more than that.