The oil marketers have revealed that their non-resumption of importation of the products is due to their inability to have access to foreign exchange.
According to a report from Thisday, they said that it has become a huge challenge to source dollars from the official market due to its scarcity and going to the black market is not an option because of the huge cost.
This development comes months after the Federal Government announced the removal of petrol subsidy with the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry and the expected resumption of petrol importation by the oil marketers.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its subsidiary, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), had been the sole importer of petrol in the country.
The oil marketers, which includes the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) still depend on PPMC for the supply of most of the products.
What they are saying
The Chairman of MOMAN, Adetunji Oyebanji, said:
- “Nothing has changed. The forex issue is still like that. And as you can see, the government has also extended that DSDP (the exchange of crude for refined petroleum products) arrangement. That’s a signal to you that foreign exchange may not be there for us to access.’’
The Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company, Mr Bismarck Rewane, had also pointed out that apart from petrol pricing, one other element of petroleum marketing that had not been fully deregulated was access to foreign exchange.
He explained that private importers of petroleum products do not have access to foreign exchange, leading to the continuous monopoly by the NNPC in the country’s petrol importation.
What you should know
The Federal Government had announced plans to make foreign exchange available to oil marketers, in order to make the importation of petrol into the country competitive, reduce the rising cost of the product and stop overdependence on NNPC for importation.
This follows the meeting of the oil marketers with officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance on the need to make the foreign exchange available for petrol imports.
However, weeks after the pronouncement, it appears nothing has changed as the oil marketers are still experiencing some difficulties in assessing foreign exchange at the official rate.