Oil marketers in Nigeria now have the liberty of importing petroleum products alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the liberalisation policy of the downstream sector enters its second month.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) revealed in Abuja Tuesday that many marketers had been handed permits to commence petrol importation, a preserve of state-owned NNPC before March.
Kimchi Apollo, General Manager, Corporate Services, PPPRA, said “Well, as far as I am concerned, many of them (marketers) have gone to import because they took QMs from us to bring in products and I am sure they are doing that already.
“The QM is just like a pass to go and bring in products. You come to us to say you want to bring in products and then we say go ahead based on the pass that we give.”
He observed that the new reform put the NNPC and independent marketers at par in sourcing refined petroleum products from refiners abroad.
“The market now is such that both the NNPC and other marketers are on the same level of going to buy from the international market to sell to final consumers.”
Eligible marketers with the required capacity, who requested permits to import the products from the agency, had been licensed, Mr Apollo said.
“Also, the PPPRA is doing its best to liaise with the CBN to ensure that marketers are not discriminated against. They too should have access to forex as much as the NNPC. So they should have a level playing ground.”