The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has given assurance that the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) would make forex available to oil marketers. The NNPC GMD stated this at a downstream stakeholders’ meeting held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja at the weeked.
Kyari, disclosed that concrete steps have been taken to address the main concerns of marketers, especially the issue of availability of forex, stressing that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has already taken the first step of merging all forex windows to have a unified exchange rate.
“It is really not in our interest to be the sole importer of PMS in the country. We have taken definite steps to exit the situation. This is a definite step taken and the details would be communicated to stakeholders like MOMAN, DAPMAN, IPMAN and others outside this forum,”Kyari stated.
Recall that the inability of oil marketers to source forex at the official window coupled with the hostile business environment and low margins had forced oil marketers to suspend the importation of fuel, thus leaving the responsibility to the NNPC as the importer of last resort.
Meanwhile, the stakeholders in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria(MOMAN), have lauded the Federal Government for the courage to tackle the challenges in the downstream sector frontally.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of MOMAN, Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, said the Federal Government has displayed utmost pragmatism by applying economic solution to the age-long challenges in the Downstream rather than the political solutions applied in the past which were not sustainable.
He commended Kyari, for extending the engagement to the leaders of oil workers’ unions who have always been opposed to deregulation and called on them to adopt a different approach to the issues this time around.
“This is the first time we are having NUPENG and PENGASSAN in the meeting. This underlines the style of the GMD, I commend him. We can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”, the MOMAN president stated.
On her part, the Vice President of Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), Hajia Amina Maina, said the subsidy regime was of no benefit to anyone and commended the GMD for the engagement.
All the stakeholders present, including the Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ (PTD), NUPENG, and PENGASSAN, pledged their support for the efforts of the Federal Government and NNPC to ensure a viable and sustainable Downstream Petroleum Sector.
Speaking further, Kyari revealed that in response to the concerns raised recently by members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) over the state of roads, especially those on the Niger State axis, the Federal Government has commenced aggressive road repair works to allay their fears.