The Petroleum Products Retail Outlet Owners Association (PETROAN) has called on the federal government to provide palliatives that will cushion the adverse effect of the recent adjustment of the petroleum pump price from N125 per litre to N123.50 per litre.
In a statement last Tuesday Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced the new pump price adjustment, which is the second less than two weeks, directing further that the new effective date is April 1, 2020.
While appreciating the Federal Government (FG) for the gesture, especially in these times that the masses are suffering under the claws of the Coronavirus, the umbrella body of all the petrol station retail outlets nationwide said it would be helpful and kind of government to consider a number of palliatives including soft loans with differed interest rates to enable its members to contain the financial loss occasioned by the sudden reduction in pump price.
“Our teeming members nationwide woke up to the cheering news of reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as “petrol” by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the face of the ravaging pandemic of COVID-19 and its attendant economy downturn globally.
“We sincerely commend the Federal Government for this great and wonderful initiative borne out of genuine concern for the citizens of this great nation. We wish to therefore seize this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation and happiness at this edifying gesture by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the distinguished leadership of President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Silva for, once more, showing excellent leadership in times of need and in the face of a global crisis” said the PETROAN in a statement signed by its President, Prince Billy Harry.
According to the body, as partners in nation-building, its members are very willing to comply with the new reduction in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, especially as this will help reduce the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigeria economy.
“However, our association wishes to bring to the notice of the Federal Government the challenges of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners in Nigeria. Our members have recorded massive losses from 19th of March 2020 when the first reduction was announced by the Federal Government.
“With the further reduction in the price by the Federal Government, our members again will lose a sizable amount of money which will impact negatively on their buying power, which will inevitable spiral down to a reduction in patronage of the government approval of petroleum products distribution depot.
Some of our members may be forced to close shop. We, therefore, wish to appeal to the Federal Government, PPPRA and other relevant stakeholders to come to our aid by urgently setting up an intervention fund to be midwifed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and disburse to our members in form of soft loans so as to cushion the effect of the PMS price reduction on the businesses of our teeming members and to guarantee replenishing re-investible capital,” Dr Prince Billy Harry stated.