Petrol marketers on Monday raised concerns about the downturn of deregulation of the downstream sector of the country’s oil and gas industry, insisting there is a need for the Federal Government to make foreign exchange available at a subsidized rate.
The marketers, at the meeting with the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja on Monday, admitted that the current pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) does not reflect market realities, adding that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) maintained a dominant role due to unavailability of forex, which marketers are unable to access at the I & E window.
With the high price of diesel, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) at the meeting also demanded for an increase in freight as the haulage firms noted that the state of roads in the country has gone from bad to worse.
“We have informed them categorically that we are no longer making profit. That is the reason trucks are parked along the garages and they understood the situation. I believe they will do something about it,” he said.
On its part, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, said the government is working towards stabilizing the foreign exchange market to enable the prices of products to rise to the prices of commodities.
“As you all know, the government is doing so much to ensure supply of FX into the market. We know this FX market will stabilise. Current I&E window is around N770.
Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, noted that the Federal Government is considering options that would sustainably address concerns of the sector. He noted that NNPCL would be instrumental to the marketers’ sustainability as the government considers approaches to ease challenges of the dollar crisis.
“NNPC has assured of supply and marketers have expressed their concerns about availability of forex in order to enable them to import. We as regulators continue to say the market is open for everyone. We have issued licences to all those who have applied, over 90 marketing companies have been issued licences.
“We have given them access to all they require, the support that they need in order to ensure there is constant supply of petroleum products in the country,” Ahmed said.