Owners and operators of petrol stations across the country, on the platform of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, on Wednesday, disclosed that the recent fuel price reduction was a risk to their businesses operations.
In a statement in Abuja, by its National President, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, and Assistant National Secretary, Ogbuefi Erasmus, PETROAN insisted that to cushion the effects of the sudden price review on its businesses, the Federal Government should immediately set up an intervention fund for the marketers.
According to the group, the fund should be managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and disbursed to its members in the form of soft loans.
It said, "Our association wish 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 price by the Federal Government our members again will lose a sizable amount of money, which will impact negatively in their buying power, which will inevitably spiral down to a reduction in patronage of the government approval petroleum products distribution depot.
"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 controlled by the CBN 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."
However, the group commended the Federal Government for reducing the price of the commodity, while it restated the willingness of its members to comply with the new price.
It said, "The leadership of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) and our teeming members nation-wide woke up to the cheering news of a 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, ad 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.
"We, the members of PETROAN as obedient citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and partners in progress with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are very willing to obey and comply with the new reduction in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit as this we are confident will help reduce the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria."