The end may not yet be in sight in the crisis rocking the downstream subsector of the oil industry, as oil marketers, on Friday in Abuja, said they have not been able to access foreign exchange to meet their obligations to their creditors.
The marketers, under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DPPMAN, therefore called on the Federal Government to assist them in making foreign exchange available for the importation of petroleum products.
The marketers, made the appeal during a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, in Abuja. The meeting was attended by Chief Executive Officers of 46 major oil companies in the country.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of DAPPMAN, Mr Dapo Abiodun, informed the minister that members of the association were currently having a tough time converting some of the Naira payments made by the government to dollars. He added that their inability to convert these payments from the Federal Government from Naira to dollar was making it difficult for them to meet their obligations to their foreign partners.
According Abiodun, oil marketers would continue to do their best in importing petroleum products into the country, but said the unavailability of foreign exchange might make it challenging to achieve such objective.
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Speaking about the recent payment of Subsidy claims from 2015 to marketers, Abiodun said except the Central Bank of Nigeria provided foreign exchange to them, the payment made by the government for fuel imports would continue to sit in their Naira accounts.
“We want to thank you for the recent payment of about N42 billion but we want to emphasise the fact that this Naira payment will continue to sit in our banks.”
“We look forward to dialogue with you as to how you can help us expedite the sourcing of foreign exchange to liquidate our exposures to our foreign bankers that we have line of credit with.
“We are very worried about going into a new dynamics in which marketers are now going to be sourcing forex at the rate that they can find, which we have approximated to around N285 to a dollar.
” We believe that it is a quick fix solution to all the epileptic supply of petroleum products in the county.
“However, we still have this Naira sitting in our account from previous transactions and we are worried that if anything happens to the rate of exchange officially, we are going to be caught in between.
“We do not want to come back to you to ask for foreign exchange differentials which issue we still have pending from previous transactions,” he said.
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