FG Says It Won’t Force Dangote to Sell Products at Fixed Prices

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government yesterday said it won’t fix prices for the new Dangote Refinery, saying it would be a purely commercial decision by the company to choose its rates.

Speaking in Abuja  during a meeting with key oil marketing companies, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, stated that whatever price the company sells will have to do with the agreement between both parties.

He stressed that though the government was encouraging local refining of petroleum products to reduce imports, it would not compel oil marketers to buy from Dangote Refinery as the decision was commercial.

“We allayed the fears of the marketers and we told them that Dangote refinery is a major achievement in our country because in the past we were importing every litre of petroleum products we required except those supplied by modular refineries.

“And as an oil producing country, we believe at NMDPRA that we should support our local industry. And that is why we encourage our marketers to patronise our local refineries.

“But, at the same time, it is a commercial decision that they will have to make between the suppliers and the clients. NMDPRA will not determine how much it is sold or how much you are buying.

“It is their own decision to go to Dangote refinery and purchase, and for Dangote refinery to determine the price they sell. As a regulator, we are only interested that the nation is well supplied,” Ahmed stated.

He further urged oil marketers to open Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) points at their filling stations to increase accessibility for consumers.

Ahmed added that new applications for retail licences would no longer be approved without CNG points.

He described the push by the federal government to encourage the use of CNG as an alternative petrol as a revolution, said the government was determined to reduce the burden of petrol on the economy.

“We hope to see very soon CNG add-ons in most of our upcoming and larger petrol stations just like we have PMS (petrol) AGO (diesel) and DPK (kerosene) so that we can have easy access for the consumers.

“But first, we have to address the supply side and we are working with the producing companies, our sister agency, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC)  as well as the GACN (Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria) to ensure that the product is also available at competitive cost to the consumers.

“This will align us with the president’s objective of transforming the country into more CNG for mobility rather than depending heavily on PMS. So, we are appealing to the companies to also invest and ensure that the point of sale for CNG is available to consumers.

“Once we are done with consultations, we will require that CNG add-ons be put in petrol stations and for new applications, one of the requirements will be that you must have CNG add-on in the petrol station,” he said.

On the recent shortage of petrol across the country, Ahmed blamed it on the logistics problem faced by NNPC in moving product from offshore to onshore depots.

Also speaking on behalf of the companies, the Chief Executive of Matrix Energy, Mr. Abdukabir Aliu, said the companies were ready to support the government in its effort to increase energy sources for Nigerians.

“It is the country first and it is when you have a good country that the marketers will be able to operate and the consumers would be able to buy.

“I think the decision of the federal government supersedes all other decisions that we have. We are all in alignment with the decisions of the government and plead with Nigerians to be patient,” he stated.

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