The Federal Government is considering how to adjust the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) template to address the demands of members of the Nigerian Transport Owners Association (NARTO) that withheld their services recently.
The Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Ahmed Boboi, who spoke during an engagement with reporters in Abuja noted that the review will not necessarily increase the pump price of the product but it would cushion the plights of transporters.
He said since members of the association withheld their services over the non-increment of their cost of bridging to N9.11, the Federal Government summoned a general meeting for the stakeholders.
“We are looking for a way of coming up with even if it is a temporary measure to review the template without adding anything to cushion and provide succour for the transporters,” he said.
He also said the Federal Government is considering the possibility of transporting petroleum products for marketers by rail across the country as well as planning for the transportation (bridging) of gas to different parts of the country.
Bridging means the transportation of petrol to all over the country to ensure that the product is sold at the same price. The PEF categorised and pays for the transportation according to the distance.
However, the government has to wait till the framework for the implementation of the gas bridging is put in place with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that is now in the National Assembly.
On the transportation of products by rail, he explained that the State Governments were already complaining that heavy duties were destroying the roads.
According to him, employing the trains to convey petroleum products will reduce the cost of transportation, also reduce the cost of road maintenance, save the roads and increase the quantity that can be transported.
He said: “We are also looking at the possibility of getting marketers to transport products by rail. The government is reviving many critical rail lines.
“And we say if marketers will patronize the railway system that will reduce the pressure on the road and it will save a lot of cost.
“It reduces pressure on the roads. This is because most State Governments are complaining that heavy duty trucks that ply the roads are the ones that destroy the roads. I think it will reduce cost of road maintenance for governments.”
He noted that the same way the PEF has been bridging and transporting petrol is the same manner the organization has planned to transport gas.
The Executive Secretary said “if it is working for petrol, we are working to see if we can extend it to gas. We believe it will add value to the economy”.
He said it will reduce deforestation and make the product available and affordable.
Boboi noted that if the government can incentivize gas through transporting (bridging), it will improve the economy.
Already, according to him, PEF has the infrastructure and personnel in place for the implementation.
He revealed that the management of PEF is waiting to know the fate of the organization from the PIB to know its new mandate.
He said: “Many things are out in place so that we have a workable framework we can give the relevant Agencies that will handle this.
“You are all aware that the PIB is still in the National Assembly. The National Assembly is considering most of these things and whatever comes out from that deliberation will be a guiding point for all of us.
“We want to know the fate of PEF first and then we look at the new mandate or additional mandate for all these things we are looking for.”