Strong indications have emerged that oil marketers in the country would soon end the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL)’s monopoly of importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.
TrackNews Media understands that oil marketers have resolved to resume the importation of fuel to stop NNPCL’s monopoly of fuel.
It was gathered that oil marketers arrived at this decision after a meeting of the marketers, including the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) and Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), with top officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Products Regulatory Agency, (NMDPRA) early this week.
This development comes after several fuel depots have run dried-off products due to a lack of forex to import petrol.
Recount that last week, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, confirmed that the company was the only one importing fuel at the moment because other marketers lacked access to foreign exchange for importation.
With the current exchange rate at over N1,000 per dollar, and crude oil price in the international market, hitting around $92 per barrel, the landing cost of a litre as of last week had risen to about N720 per litre.
It was, however, learned that the federal government is working on a couple of short-term measures to enable oil marketers to access foreign exchange at a rate that will not cause serious dislocation in the price of fuel.
Also, it was gathered that the government was equally working on long-term measures, like some fiscal and monetary re-engineering, that will help to boost the Naira.
According to a source privy to the oil marketers’ meeting, the government’s measure on short-term measures to arrest the situation would be kept out of the public space for now.
The source told Daily Trust that, “For strategic reasons, the details of these short-term measures will be kept off the public space for now. But rest assured that the government is not comfortable with a situation where NNPC will be the sole importer of the product as this will defeat the essence of the deregulation policy of the government.
“Of course, it is obvious that the speculative exchange rate of N1000 to a dollar cannot be the actual value of the Naira. A multi-pronged approach is being adopted, which will help to firm up the Naira and, ultimately, will enable the marketers to access the dollar at a rate that will not only be sustainable but will also be profitable for them to import fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution throughout the country. NNPCL cannot be the sole importer of fuel in a deregulated market