The President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has decided to execute his predecessor's decision to eliminate fuel subsidies by June, although the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has objected to this.
Earlier on Monday, in Abuja, Tinubu declared that his administration will stop providing subsidies for petroleum products.
The President said: “Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.
"We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.
“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.”
IPMAN, however, responded on Monday by stating that it opposed the incoming president's decision to eliminate subsidies.
Chief Ukadike Chinedu, national public relations officer for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, suggested that the incoming administration consult with marketers before deciding to withdraw subsidies.
“We are not in support of the removal of fuel subsidy at this time.
"We have said it repeatedly that our refineries should be fixed before taking such decision that will cause galloping inflation and inflict more hardship on the masses.
“The government of President Tinubu should not adopt what is in the transition document handed over to it by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
"Someone (Buhari) who for eight years did not remove subsidy is advising a new government to remove it.
“That is not fair and should not be adopted. Rather the new government should sit and discuss with marketers and other stakeholders on how to manage the fuel subsidy regime.
"We now have the Dangote Refinery, but all our refineries are still not working, so we don’t think removing subsidy is the right thing to do now,” Ukadike stated.
Instead of putting an end to fuel subsidies completely, he claimed that IPMAN was prepared to cooperate with the incoming administration and would give solutions to the fuel subsidy system.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) responded to a request for comment by stating that it would hold off for the time being while it studied the incoming government.
“We wouldn’t want to comment on the fuel subsidy removal matter now because we are still studying the situation and the new government of President Tinubu,” the General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa, stated.
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) reiterated its view that fuel subsidies should end, but IPMAN stressed that they shouldn't be eliminated until Nigeria's refineries are repaired.
Clement Isong, the Executive Secretary of MOMAN, said that Nigeria was squandering its income by subsidising petrol with trillions of dollars.
“Currently, we are told that this year that we are to spend about N6tn on subsidy.
"I am sure that in our hearts we all know that if we invested that N6tn in sustainable programmes, it will grow the economy.
"It is a better way to go than to burn it in fuel subsidy. We all know this,” he stated.
Following the announcement on Monday, fuel lines reappeared in Abuja, Lagos, and some other states within a few hours following Tinubu's declaration regarding subsidies.
The statement caused motorists to hurry to fill up at petrol stations in Abuja and adjoining states out of worry that the price of PMS would go over N500/litre once the subsidy ended.
Following the Federal Government's decision to remove petrol subsidies in June of this year, oil marketers had predicted that the price of the commodity may reach N700 per litre.