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FG to make dollar accessible to oil marketers

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The Federal Government in a bid to make the importation of petrol into Nigeria competitive and help reduce the commodity’s rising cost is to make the dollar accessible to oil marketers.

It was learnt on Monday that oil marketers met with officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance on the need to make the foreign exchange available for petrol imports.

A move marketers said, would halt the current monopoly in the importation of petrol.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the major importer of petrol for more than two years.

Other players in the downstream oil business purchase the product from NNPC to dispense in their retail outlets.

Petroleum product dealers would start importing petrol soon, the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okonkwo, told journalists on Monday.

He said this was based on the meeting which oil marketers had with the government last week.

He said, “Last week we got some assurance from the Ministry of Finance on how to help us access the dollar at the same rate with NNPC because the market is now open.

“Now if we get that, we have got people who are ready to bring in this product, but their challenge is how they can get the dollar. So, if by the time we finish with government and sort this out, a lot of marketers are ready to bring in products.”

“I know that by the time that happens, it will create a healthy competition where if we can’t get the product from the Singapore market, we will get from Russia or Europe. It will no more be a one-man show like it is right now,” Okonkwo added.

The IPMAN president said the government was also looking at the importation of petrol by marketers as another measure to stem the continued rise in PMS price.

On Friday, the NNPC, through its Pipelines Products Marketing Company, increased the ex-depot price of petrol from N 147 per litre to N 155. 17 per litre, a development that shot the cost of the product at filling stations to between N 168 and N 170 per litre.

Okonkwo stated that once marketers begin to import petrol, prices of the commodity at filling stations would drop.

Source PUNCH
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