From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Mr Ahmed Bobboi, has given reasons why the new petroleum transportation pricing template is yet to take off long after it was adopted by various stakeholders.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja at the weekend, Bobboi noted that the implementation was delayed by the ongoing negotiation between labour and the government petrol matters.
He added that the dispute between the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), which resulted in last month’s strike and attendant petrol scarcity, was being looked into with a view to embracing a permanent solution to the problem.
He assured that a temporary solution was in place while the government concludes its negotiation with labour unions to have a permanent solution.
Bobboi also revealed that the government was considering a scheme to pay for the transportation of gas as part of an effort to encourage the use of cooking gas in homes across the country.
He explained that bridging or equalisation for the transportation of gas will leverage on existing infrastructure used for paying for the transportation of petrol across the country.
Bobboi noted that with the declaration of the decade of gas by the federal government, PEF was working to expand domestic gas usage across the country.
He added that equalisation and bridging have worked well for petrol distribution by ensuring stable prices across the country, adding that bridging cost for gas will make it accessible and affordable for consumers.
‘If it is working well for petrol, we said well the government wants to promote the use of gas. If we can extend that scheme to gas, we believe that it will add value to the economy in so many ways in the value chain,’ he said.
‘It will help in getting the consumers in those areas to accept the usage of gas and abandon the age-long use of firewood in cooking with its attendant problems and challenges including health hazards and deforestation which causes a lot of problems in the country.
‘It will also make the product available because we have it in abundance in the country. It also makes it affordable to the people because if you incentivises the marketer by paying for his transportation to take it to the last mile, the consumer will also be incentivises because the marketer will bring down his price so that it will be affordable and accessible to consumer.’