Oil marketers have appealed to the Federal Government to grant them tax relief to ameliorate their suffering due to the harsh economic conditions.
The marketers, under the auspices of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, said their investments in the oil sector no longer yield any profit, especially after President Bola Tinubu removed fuel subsidy.
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, the Vice President of IPMAN, Hammed Fashola, said members of the association were no longer making profits but were just wetting their filling stations to keep them alive.
“To be honest with you, this is a trying period for us as marketers, as IPMAN. In fact, we are not finding it easy at all. If you look at the cost of doing the business, before, we used to buy a truck of PMS at N7.3m; now you must have about N28m before you can procure a 45-litre truck of PMS. Look at that difference. The profit margin is currently zero. We are in a very critical period.
“We are just trying to cooperate with the government to manage the situation, with the hope that very soon things will turn around for the better because we all supported fuel subsidy removal and total deregulation. But the way things are going now, the government needs to look at it again and come out with something better,” he noted.
Fashola lamented that IPMAN members do not get direct supply from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, saying “we are buying from third parties”.
He explained, “As of Friday, private depots were selling at N620-621 per litre for marketers. How much do you want us to sell the product? And if you look around Lagos, marketers are selling at N630. If a marketer buys petrol at N621, with transportation cost, salaries, taxes, you will see that the marketer is only wetting his station, just to keep the station moving; he is not gaining anything.
“We are not making a profit at all. In fact, this time around, we seek for tax relief for this period, because we are just enduring.”
According to Fashola, the tax relief will be like a relief package to marketers, at least in this critical period.
He claimed that IPMAN did not regret supporting the removal of fuel subsidy
“We don’t regret supporting subsidy removal. We believe that if government is sincere, we will have enough money to provide infrastructure, good roads, good education, good health and others that will be beneficial to everybody,” he added.
Tinubu announced the removal of the petrol subsidy on May 29 during his inauguration as President in Abuja.
The Federal Government had disclosed last year that it spent N13tn on petrol subsidy between 2005 and 2021.