Again, NNPC Becomes Sole Petrol Importer as FX Shortages Choke Private Firms

October 10, 2023
sole Petrol Importer

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has become the sole importer of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol, four months after imports were opened up to independent marketers due to the continued foreign exchange scarcity.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil exporter, Nigeria, imports almost all its fuel as it does not have the refining capacity to meet the demand.

Upon resumption of office, President Bola Tinubu moved to remove subsidies on imported petrol and this allowed private players to come into the space with some fuel companies starting imports in July.

However, the latest development shows that the licensed local private firms have been unable to obtain the much-needed foreign currency needed to import the petrol.

Business Post has already reported that partial subsidy had returned with confirmation coming from the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

These bodies have alleged that the government was still paying subsidies which is why fuel prices haven’t increased since the price of crude oil in the international market had risen in the last three months. The high cost of crude oil affects the price of by-products of the crude oil.

The official confirmation of this was made by the General Managing Director (GMD) of the state oil company, Mr Mele Kyari who said the NNPC is now the sole body importing fuel into the country.

Speaking on Monday at an oil conference, he confirmed that, “We are the only company importing PMS into the country.”

“None of them (fuel companies) can do it today. For them, access to foreign exchange (FX) is difficult. We create FX, therefore we have access to FX and their access to FX is limited.”

Although Mr Kyari did not directly respond to the accusation of the subsidy payment, he said current prices showed that “the market is adjusting itself.

Nigeria is in the grips of foreign currency shortages, which have seen the Naira weaken to record lows on the parallel market.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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