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NNPC Assures Oil Marketers of plans to Access Forex

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Group Managing Direction, Engr. Mele Kyari has said that plans are under way to help marketers have access to foreign exchange (Forex) and this will enable them to import Petroeum products.
Oil marketers both the major and independents have been complaining of their inability to access forex and also at an official rate. These they said has clipped their wings to import products.

Asked recently whether oil marketers had resumed the importation of petrol, the National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, replied, “How can we import when we do not have access to forex?”

He said that independent oil marketers had always been ready to import petrol, not just only few major marketers and the Pipelines Products Marketing Company, which is the downstream subsidiary of NNPC.

“We have storage tanks everywhere and so we can import but the problem here is that at what amount are we going to access the dollar?” Gillis-Harry asked.

The NNPC boss said in an interview with Channel Television said that the corporation has made the computation for the new price of petrol at the rate of N390 per dollar, noting that oil marketers would soon have access to forex.

Kyari said petroleum subsidy has been an issue in the country for over two decades but the government could no longer afford it because of the economic crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“And not only that, every corruption that you are aware of in the downstream industry is one way or the other connected to fuel subsidy,” Kyari added.

Continuing, he said, “It is very understandable for people to be angry that the price of fuel has gone up because it affects the prices of every other commodity. But when prices go up, the other natural thing that must happen is that your income needs to increase so that you are able to procure the things that are now delivered at higher prices.

“You can’t do this anywhere in the world if there is no productivity and there will be no productivity except there is growth in infrastructural development, industries are able to work and therefore, there is a connection between production and consumption.

“It takes courage to make this decision, I can share this with you. Only a Buhari regime can make this decision; the reason is very very simple, people will not appreciate the lost opportunities in a situation where you spend enormous resources – N10trn in the last eight to nine years, all trying to service that.

“The subsidy is an elitist thing and I can share that with you. It is only the elite who will have three, five cars in their houses, fill the tanks and also feel comfortable doing this.

“The ordinary man is not the beneficiary. First, he loses in infrastructure, hospitals are not built, schools are not built and ultimately the brunt of the corruption in the downstream sector will be transferred to them.

“So, the outburst is understandable because the populace is not aware of the benefits involved” he said.

He added that the removal of subsidy would lead to “colossal” activities in the downstream which, according to him, will be beneficial to the masses.

SOURCE: financialenergyreview,com