The status of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the sole importer of refined products into the country may be over as the organisation itself is now weary of the interruptions in the supply chain since it took over its handling.
It has advised fuel marketers to seize the opportunity of special window, provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to access dollars for importation, Ndu Ugbamadu, NNPC’s Group Manager, Public Affairs, has said.
He said marketers will resume importation soon, when they maximise the use of the window, by accessing enough foreign exchange for fuel importation.
He said when this happens, NNPC will relieve itself of the burdens of being the sole importer of fuel in the country, adding that the issue is affecting some activities of the corporation.
He said all the marketers, including NNPC, were regarded as participants in the market, arguing that it would be wrong for marketers under the aegis of Major Marketers Association of Nigerian (MOMAN), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) to conclude that the Federal Government is giving NNPC preference in the area of allocation of forex in the country.
“The fuel situation in the past few weeks is worrisome as Nigerians were made to queue in the filling stations, trek for hours under the sun, sleep in the heat, run businesses without being able to access light through their generators, among others. But importation of fuel has been left to only the NNPC by marketers under the guise that they are denied forex allocation by CBN,’’ Ughamadu said.
He said the more the importation of fuel, the higher the supply of the product and its usage for improved economic activities in the country.
He insisted that NNPC boasts of enough supplies in the country, despite the challenges in the micro economy.
He said NNPC would not have increased fuel supply from the normal 30 million litres per day to 50million litres and even 80 million litres during the heat of fuel scarcity, if it does not have enough fuel reserve.
NNPC had a meeting with tanker drivers and other members in the supply fuel chain days ago, he revealed, in order to ensure seamless distribution of the product in the country.
Ughamadu said the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has directed all the depots belonging to NNPC, to store fuel for onward distribution to its outlets and other marketers across the country, in order to ease fuel supplies.