Forex restriction favours NNPC petrol import allocation – PPPRA boss

*Petroleum imports.

*Petroleum imports.

*Says worst days of fuel crisis over

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

11 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja —
The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, has explained why the agency allocated 78 per cent of the total volume of 3.1 million metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, import allocation for the first quarter (Q1) 2016 to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Ahmed noted in a statement made available to our correspondent yesterday that the decision was influenced mainly by the inability of some oil marketers to meet previous import allocation quota due to difficulty in accessing foreign exchange.

He said, “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 who dismissed insinuation that the import allocation was skewed to ease out marketers and to engender NNPC monopoly, explained that even the foreign exchange requirement for the 22 per cent import allocation to other oil marketers will be covered by both the NNPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in order to ensure their performance.

He maintained that, “The whole idea is to give whatever possible support to the marketers in order to enable optimum service delivery, while ensuring stability in the system.”

Meanwhile, on the disparity in pump-price of fuel across the country, the PPPRA boss pointed out that with the ongoing massive importation and distribution of petrol across the country by the NNPC, the issue of price disparity will soon be over.

He explained that the problem is being tackled in two ways which includes, a synergy between the PPPRA and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), with support of the minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to get marketers compliance.

“Secondly, once product is abundantly available it becomes a straight issue of supply and demand, and competition for market share,” Ahmed stated, adding that the worst days are over for fuel supply and distribution challenge, as the days ahead will witness improved sanity in the product distribution environment.

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