By Emma Amaize
PETROLEUM Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, has dissociated members from the call by pressure groups in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to embark on strike to protest federal government’s incessant changes in the pump price of petrol.
The federal government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, on July 1, raised the pump price of petrol to between N140.80 and N143.80 in July, one of the highest price movements in the last few months.
Speaking to journalists at Port- Harcourt, Rivers state, PETROAN president, Dr Billy Gillis-Harry, said: “We hold the opinion that only a round-table, stakeholders’ engagement between the various downstream group operators, the leadership of PPPRA, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, will solve the problem.
“While we are not happy, we do not think any street protest or shutting down our outlets will solve any problem. The position PETROAN members occupy in the petroleum value chain is critical so we need to tread with a lot of caution. Putting the whole retail space into confusion will induce more losses on us,” he said
“It is sad enough that only the PPPRA has been saddled with the task of determining the pump price of petrol and other refined products in Nigeria, a task he says PPPRA should perform with extensive consultation with all stakeholders.
“We all feel the same pain – I mean with our sister unions and associations, but we in PETROAN considers the option of dialogue to ensure that all inputs of stakeholders are properly collated to determine the price of products,” Dr Harry said
He stated that there should be a complete price review, but stressed that it should not be left only in the hands of the PPPRA, adding: “That is our position, PPPRA should be preoccupied with the deregulation of the oil and gas sector.”