By OpeOluwani Akintayo

17 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, has cleared the air on concerns that it was the federal government that asked its members to stop the importation of petroleum products.

In a chat with SweetcrudeReports on Thursday, Chairman of the body and Managing Director, 11 Plc, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, said members of MOMAN on their won, stopped importing because of unfavourable market economics.

Members of MOMAN include Conoil Plc, 11 Plc formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria, Forte Oil Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited- an Oando licensee, and Total Nigeria Plc.

According to Mr. Oyebanji, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, brings in over 90 percent of the products.

“Government didn’t ask us to stop importing. It just became uneconomical to keep importing given the market dynamics. High forex, and then it doesn’t pay us to keep bringing in products when there’s a fixed price of N145 which doesn’t put into consideration continuous increases changes in costs of bringing in the products, running costs, taxes, and others,” he said.

He added that the few marketers who still import swap their products in an arrangement with the NNPC.

“NNPC imports more than 90 percent. Others who import end up in swap arrangements with the NNPC. At the end of the day, it’s still NNPC importing so, they sell to us and other marketers at the regulated prices,” he said.

He explained that importation is an important aspect of MOMAN and that members would get back to it once the market economics are right.

“It’s not like we have stopped importation outrightly. We will get back to it at the right time,” he said.