A Principal Manager at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Osagie Clement, revealed that the country spends approximately $150 million each month on petrol importation, News About Nigeria reports.
Speaking before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the recent petrol price hike, Clement emphasized that the CBN lacks control over the prices of premium motor spirit (PMS) and the dollar.
The reduction in PMS consumption by 30 percent has been attributed to the low demand in the market. In light of this, Clement urged the Federal Government to take proactive measures to discourage importation and promote local refining of petroleum products.
Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director of Distribution Systems at the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), emphasized that the forces of demand and supply should determine the prices in the petroleum market.
He cited the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as the instrument empowering regulators to intervene and prevent cartel building, thereby curbing illegal profiteering.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) denied accusations of blaming security agencies for the high cost of PMS. The National President of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, clarified that his previous statements were misinterpreted and intended to find a solution to the petrol price increase.
Okoronkwo recommended that the Federal Government swiftly adopt the Compressed National Gas (CNG) as a viable alternative to address the current challenges.
As the nation grapples with soaring petrol importation costs, there is a growing consensus among experts and stakeholders that investing in local refining capacity and promoting competition in the industry can significantly alleviate the burden on the economy.
The need for self-sufficiency and reduced reliance on imports is becoming more urgent, and timely measures are being called for to secure a stable and sustainable energy future for Nigeria.