“Oil Marketers Recommend Gradual Subsidy Relaxation Amid Currency Struggles, While President Tinubu Stands Firm Against Fuel Price Hike”

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By Daniel Edu

Oil marketers are suggesting to President Bola Tinubu that a gradual relaxation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, might be beneficial due to importers struggling to access United States dollars and the resulting impact on businesses. However, President Tinubu has firmly stated that there will be no fuel price hike or reversal of the fuel subsidy.

The oil marketers are advocating for a cautious approach to removing the subsidy, citing the negative consequences experienced by Kenyans when subsidies were abruptly removed and subsequently reintroduced due to the hardships they faced.

These marketers are underlining the importance of considering the forex exchange rate and the potential escalation in the costs of imported goods, including petrol, if the exchange rate continues to rise. They propose that a gradual relaxation of the subsidy removal could be a prudent decision in the current circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is recommending that the government implements policies to attract investors to contribute to the repair and investment in Nigeria’s refineries. NEITI advises the adoption of deliberate policies to encourage private investments in refineries, potentially involving tax incentives and institutional support.

In the midst of these ongoing discussions, the Presidency has clarified that Nigeria currently boasts the most affordable price for PMS in West Africa. The President’s spokesperson emphasized that although the market has been deregulated and liberalized, the government is committed to addressing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sectors in order to maintain prices without reversing the deregulation policies.

The ongoing conversation surrounding fuel subsidies and market dynamics underscores the intricate challenges Nigeria faces in managing its petroleum sector, striking a balance between consumer affordability, economic stability, and investment.

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