Private Oil Marketers Certified to Commence Fuel Importation

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 20 – The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced that several oil marketers had been granted permits to commence the importation of fuel.

This information was gathered in Abuja on Tuesday where the agency revealed that marketers would start importing petrol alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Prior to the liberalization of the downstream sector, the NNPC was formerly the sole importer of petrol for over two years.

The General Manager, Corporate Services, PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo, mentioned that the sole importer status of the NNPC has changed as his agency recently permitted several oil dealers to import the commodity.

In his words “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 noted that the oil market has been liberalized, making private dealers and the NNPC buyers of refined petroleum products from foreign refiners.

“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,” he stated.

He said that all qualified and competent marketers who approach the agency were cleared for import operations.

The GM pointed out that the agency had been work in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria to make foreign exchange available to marketers for petrol imports.

 “Both major marketers and others who have the competence to bring in products have been given QMs to do so. However, there are yardsticks that should be met before any marketer can bring in products.

“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,” Apollo said.

When asked if the agency had allowed marketers to determine the price of PMS based on the competitive market situation currently in place, Apollo replied no.

The PPPRA had reneged on its promise to announce a new price band following the NNPC’s reduction of depot price from N113 to N108 on May 1.

Apollo said “Because of this COVID-19, there is an unnecessary delay to get some things done.

“So it was then advised, and this was by all stakeholders and not marketers alone, that we should maintain this (current) price.”

He added, “Let’s know that the PPPRA is an organisation that is made up of all stakeholders, who are represented on the agency’s board.

“NNPC, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria; everybody is involved.

“The PPPRA does not stand as an entity that has no relationship with others.”

He added that the PPPRA would continue with its price band regulation.

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