The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) might end up being the major importer of fuel in the country as petroleum products marketers in the country confront acute foreign exchange crisis, the News Agency of Nigeria said on Thursday.
Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) disclosed in Lagos on Thursday various hitches faced by importers in accessing foreign exchange for the settlement of fuel imports, stressing that such challenges must be swiftly resolved.
The Nigerian government had in May granted marketers the autonomy to import petroleum products into the country alongside the NNPC, who held the monopoly to do so until that time as part of the deregulation reforms in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
Oyebanji noted that the new gasoline price band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre emerged in response to the forces of demand and supply in the global oil market.
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“As the prices of crude go up and down, so will the prices of refined petroleum products fluctuate.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria can no longer afford to subsidise the prices; so, we should be ready for these periodic changes.
“We still feel it will be better for marketers to handle the pricing, but at least, we now seem to be going in the right direction.
“However, sourcing of forex remains an issue; so, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) may continue to be the major importer of products until further notice,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced an upward review of PMS from the previous band, which stood at N121.50 to N123.50 per barrel.