From Ndubuisi Orji and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the Prices of Petroleum Products has ordered the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it in person today to provide insight into the sale of foreign exchange to petroleum marketers.
The Chairman of the committee, Nnanna Igbokwe, issued the summon while speaking at a sitting of the committee yesterday.
He said Emefiele is expected to furnish the committee with details of oil marketers who benefitted from forex sales from the apex bank from January 2015 to date.
Besides, the CBN boss is to provide explanation on who authorised International Oil Companies (IOCs) to operate as a financial institution to sell foreign exchange to petroleum marketers.
Igbokwe directed Emefiele to provide the committee with information on the criteria for eligibility to access foreign exchange and all necessary documents to support the transactions.
Earlier, the Director, Financial Marketing, CBN, Dr. Alvan Ikoku, who represented Emefiele at the committee sitting Monday said that IOCs at a point were selling foreign exchange to petroleum marketers.
He said at a point, the IOCs started selling to CBN, which in turn sold to the petroleum marketers.
In his submission, the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, who was represented by the Director, Marine Services, Commodore P. A Efedue, explained that petroleum marketers prefer to discharge their products in neighbouring countries because it is cheaper and not as a result of insecurity.
According to him, the issue of insecurity and piracy in the nation’s waterways have reduced. He added that there is currently a collaboration between the Service and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to secure the waterways.
“Marketers say it is the various charges by various agencies that make them prefer Lome and Cotonou and not security. Rate of insecurity in our waters has reduced. Cases of piracy have reduced. So, it is the charges that are the issue,” the naval chief said.