The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has said that no petroleum products marketer would be paid claims on petrol that was already in tanks at various storage depots across the country prior to the take off of the January 1, 2012 removal of subsidy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the decision was reached at a meeting between the PPPRA and operators in the downstream sector in Abuja convened to iron out issues in the wake of the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
The agency said computation of subsidy claims for the month of December 2011, based on volumes of petrol certified by independent inspectors in tanks belonging to petroleum marketers as at January 1, 2012, was to ensure that government did not lose from the payment of claims by marketers, who are currently selling the same stock of products that should have gone for N65 per litre to consumers at the new deregulated price of N141.
The PPPRA Executive Secretary, Stanley Reginald, said the year-end stock-taking exercise at the depots carried out nationwide on January 1 was to to determine the actual consumption of gasoline nationwide, following the spiraling consumption figures of the product over the years.
Assuring that the exercise would be continuous during the deregulation regime, Mr. Reginald said this is part of the policy of his new management to guarantee integrity and transparency in the petroleum products pricing and allocation business.
At the meeting, it was gathered that the agency identified the thrust of the deregulation policy particularly as it concerns fuel importation under a deregulated regime as well as implementation of the indicative benchmark pricing system.
The PPPRA, Mr. Reginald announced, would apply import volume determination by Independent Cargo Inspectors for monitoring and data collection purposes, adding that it would continue to provide maximum indicative benchmark prices every fortnight for depots and open-market retail sales outlets.
Under the current deregulated dispensation, a pricing template is the final guiding document for importation, storage, transportation and sales of petroleum products in the country.
While no operator is authorised to alter any of the cost elements, marketers who sell products above the indicative benchmark price provided by the PPPRA would be penalised, including the revocation of their import or operating licenses by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Industry operators at the meeting, including members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA)and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), welcomed the deregulation policy, pledging to fully support the policy.
Marketers, who underscored the need for adequate security at all products depots, trucks and retail outlets in the light of threats by organized labour against the introduction of the deregulation, called for the repair of roads across the country to ensure smooth haulage of products by transporters.
They also canvassed the implementation of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Act relating to 5 per cent user charge on petroleum products for road maintenance.