Contrary to the six-month promise Petrol Minister Ibe Kachikwu gave Nigerians to start reaping the benefits of the subsidy removal, the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Wednesday gave about a month of endurance before the crisis tapers out.
So IPMAN President Obasi Lawson called on Nigerians to ignore those rooting for strike action against the hike in the price. He said the new pump price will liberalize the oil and gas industry and engender competition which may mark the fuel prices.
“The new policy is a welcome development. We members of IPMAN welcome the policy because it is going to bring about total liberalisation and also engender competition in the industry,” Lawson said in Abuja.
“In fact, we are calling on all our members to go about their normal businesses and keep their petrol stations open.”
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According to him, the new policy would be beneficial to all at the end, noting that IPMAN is looking forward to a gradual price decrease that will accommodate all stakeholders in the near future.
Lawson, however, called on the APC government to release the proposed palliatives as quickly as possible to cushion the effects of the hike.
He said over 7,000 tickets of PMS cargoes worth more than N20 billion, some of which were as old as one year, were tied up in the NNPC system, while he expressed optimism that with the new policy in place, the pending cargoes would be easily released.
He added it is pertinent that the market be opened up for other stakeholders, due to the fact that the NNPC cannot meet up with petrol supply requirements in the country.
“We have also put arrangement in place to import petroleum products so that we can serve our members. The policy is a good development so the issue of strike should be ignored.”