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Oil marketers decry hash operating environment

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UGO AMADI

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has cried out against the tough operating environment in oil sector which has warranted many players in the industry divesting while some close shops.

MOMAN new chairman, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, stated this when he addressed newsmen at a press briefing in Lagos, regretting that nation’s downstream oil industry is “in serious trouble.”

MOMAN is one of the oil marketers’ associations and its members include Oando Plc, Forte Oil Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Conoil Plc and 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc).

According to Oyebanji, currently, majority of the oil marketing companies doing business in Nigeria are running at a loss.

“Today, many of the players in the industry, not necessarily MOMAN, have closed shop; now people are divesting while some people are closing shop”, he said.

He cautioned that the fact that there are fuel products and no queues at the fuel stations should not warrant that the health of the industry that is making the fuel available is neglected.

He said the situation where the oil industry keeps going on a downward trend is not something that calls for urgent concerns, “a day will come when things will get very bad and we end up having only a national oil company because all the other entities have closed shop.”

Oyebanji, who further said that private marketers would only resume importation when it makes economic sense to do so, added that in a situation the regulated environment fails to change, “then our ability to import is going to be dependent on the numbers. Does it make economic sense to do it? If it doesn’t make economic sense, it will be difficult and we will remain under the status quo.”

He described the situation where government look only at the immediate and not what may happen in about five years coming as a very great challenge facing the country.

He called on government and the appropriate authorities to look at reforms that will change the future of the oil industry in Nigeria.

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