The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) might end up being the major importer of fuel in the country as petroleum products marketers in the country confront an acute foreign exchange crisis.
Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) disclosed in Lagos on Thursday, July 2, various hitches faced by importers in accessing foreign exchange for the settlement of fuel imports, stressing that such challenges must be swiftly resolved.
The Nigerian government had in May granted marketers the autonomy to import petroleum products into the country alongside the NNPC, who held the monopoly to do so until that time as part of the deregulation reforms in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
Oyebanji noted that the new gasoline price band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre emerged in response to the forces of demand and supply in the global oil market.
“As the prices of crude go up and down, so will the prices of refined petroleum products fluctuate.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria can no longer afford to subsidise the prices; so, we should be ready for these periodic changes.
“We still feel it will be better for marketers to handle the pricing, but at least, we now seem to be going in the right direction.
“However, sourcing of forex remains an issue; so, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) may continue to be the major importer of products until further notice,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced an upward review of PMS from the previous band, which stood at N121.50 to N123.50 per barrel.
Meanwhile, Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, on Friday, July 3; revealed that he is not a member of the National Consultative Front (NCF).
1st News had reported that the NCF was formed as a new political movement; “aimed at driving reforms” in the country.
The communique which announced the formation of the movement listed “30 eminent Nigerians”; as members of the group.
However, Falana stated that he was neither consulted nor did he attend the meeting where the movement was launched.
Although the human rights lawyer commended the initiative for trying to create an alternative platform; he said the lack of consultation shows the “desperate situation progressive Nigerians find themselves in the bid to save Nigeria from what looks like an imminent shipwreck.”