The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA has refuted claims of the outgoing Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih who said that its members accessed foreign exchange at N305 per dollar for the importation of petrol into the country since 2017.
Executive Secretary of the marketers, Olufemi Adewole expressed that it was true at various instances within the lifespan of the immediate past management of the NNPC that marketers were offered foreign exchange to import aviation fuel (ATK) and diesel (AGO) at N330/$1 or N346/$1 but that no marketer accessed forex at N305/$1 as claimed and at no time did foreign exchange sourced for fuel importation by petroleum marketers through NNPC-intervention sum up to $7.2bn.
He disclosed according to Independent that his members ceased to import petrol before the 4th quarter of 2017 largely due to the rising cost of crude oil in the international market and marketers’ inability to access foreign exchange at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rate.
He also noted that this was a major cause of the fuel scarcity the nation experienced in December 2017 and far into 2018. According to him, NNPC at that time and till date, assumed the responsibility of the importer of last resort because it is the only corporation that can access the foreign exchange proceeds of crude oil exporters and utilises same to import PMS at the official Central Bank rate and thereafter sell to petroleum marketers.
He said, ‘’we dare say even the presidential directives to the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, to receive payments on fuel-laden vessels in the local naira currency from petroleum marketers based on the N305/$1, which the Central Bank assured that it would provide, was never implemented by the federal agencies for reasons best known to them.
“Petroleum marketers within the fold of DAPPMAN would continue to engage the Federal Government and its agencies on the need to create an even playing field for all industry practitioners for the development of the nation’s economy and advancement of the nation’’ he added.
In a related development, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), has said total deregulation of the downstream sub-sector remains the best option, as marketers have not been able to get foreign exchange at N305 to a dollar for the importation of petrol.