10 January 2015, Abuja – The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Farouk Ahmed, at the weekend explained why the agency decided to allocate 78 per cent of the total volume of 3.1 million metric tons of petrol to be imported into the country in the first quarter of 2016 (Q1, 2016) to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Ahmed said in Abuja that because of the inability of some oil marketers to meet previous import allocation quotas that were issued to them, due to the difficulty in accessing the needed foreign exchange, the PPPRA opted to allocate a larger volume of the importation to the NNPC.
He noted that the NNPC was benefitting from the seaming shortcomings of private marketers to uphold the terms of their allocation papers, adding that it was sure about supplies from the NNPC.
“We gave 78 per cent of the import allocation to NNPC because we are sure that it can source for foreign exchange through crude oil sales to finance its importation.
“If we go back to recent historic trends, especially in the last six months, you will discover that most marketers have had difficulty in raising Letters of Credit due to lack of forex,” Ahmed said.
He however dismissed the insinuation that the import allocation was skewed to ease out private sector marketers from doing business in the country’s downstream petroleum sector, and engender NNPC’s monopoly.