By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Rainoil Limited, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, has lamented the twin challenge of lack of access to foreign exchange and high exchange rates for oil marketers.
The Rainoil boss stated this during a webinar series organized by the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) with the title ”Deregulation and Sustainable Natural Energy Future Through Natural Gas” in Lagos at the weekend.
Ogbechie worried that no oil marketer has been able to access forex from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at official exchange rate of N401/410 to $1.
He said those doing business with the Federal Government and only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could access forex at official exchange rates from the CBN.
For other oil marketers, he said the only option open to them was to access same at the parallel market, which he said comes at a premium of N485 to N495 to $1, lamenting that doing business under such arrangement puts marketers at about 20 per cent loss.
He said this remained the reason why NNPC is the only entity importing petrol at the moment, saying any other marketer that tries to compete with NNPC, will only end up struggling and cannot make profit but only end up running at a loss.
On gas, the Rainoil boss emphasized the need for petroleum marketers in the country to deepen investment in the nation’s gas sector.
He said government’s policy on alternative energy and the global drive for energy transition which requires $6 billion presents opportunities for marketers to plough in with a view to changing the narrative in the gas sector.
Specifically, he advised marketers to invest in gas adoption and utilization such as cooking gas bulk storage, trucks, filling plants, skids, gas cylinder manufacturing, liquefied natural gas plants, compressed natural gas/ liquefied natural gas trucks, liquefied natural gas regassification / compression stations and compressed natural gas filling station.
He disclosed that over N10 billion ($27 million) will be generated by switching 50 per cent of kerosene and firewood users to liquefied petroleum gas(LPG),otherwise known as cooking gas.
He explained that proper channeling of flared gas could impact the country’s gross domestic product by up to $1 +billion per year, adding that it has potential to create over 1 million jobs, 600,000 metric tons of liquefied petroleum gas per year and generate 2.5 gigawatts
He added that the Federal Goverment’s sustainable national energy plan seeks to deliver and maintain 5 million new off-grid solar connections under a “solar power strategy.
He said:” Around 77 million Nigerians are either underserved by, or completely lack access to, the national electricity grid.