The suspension of the subsidy regime on petroleum products announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) two days ago would not be seamlessly implemented except the Nigerian Government refrained from giving special treatment to any person or group in trading the dollar, oil marketers said on Tuesday.
They added that subsidy removal would not achieve its aim if the central bank sold the dollar at inconsistent rates.
“We are in support of it. The reason why we support it is that we need to have a situation where market forces will determine the economy of Nigeria.
“However, we advise government that while they remove subsidy on petrol, there should not be any special advantage to selected persons as regards the sale and purchase of dollars,” Billy Gillis-Harry, National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria said.
He demanded provision be made to enable foreign exchange (forex) to be traded at fixed rates and where trade was naturally determined by market forces.
Sometime in the third week of March, the central bank’s Bankers’ Committee revoked the right of the state-owned oil corporation to conduct forex sales with indigenous and foreign oil companies and rather bestowed that privilege on the apex bank.
“Well, the reality is that market forces will determine petrol price,” Gillis-Harry said in response to the question on whether people would pay more for petrol if crude oil price rose in future.