*Laments members are “no longer favourites of banks”

By OpeOluwani Akintayo

18 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Inaccessibility to funding is a clog in the wheel of putting into use refining licenses issued to its members by the federal government a few years ago, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN finally opened up.

In a discussion with SweetcrudeReports on Thursday over the state of its affairs, Chairman of the body and Managing Director, 11 Plc, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, explained that although crude oil refining is part of its functions as a way of boosting accessibility and availability of petroleum products in the country, however, lack of funding had made it impossible to take up such task.

“Refining is a global business that requires a huge investment. But our members can’t get loans from banks because once it got to the stage where they were asked how they intend to recoup the investment, they become a dump. There’s no way we can get our investment back in a regulated market,” he said.

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, had in 2017, granted refining licenses to some members of MOMAN however, Mr. Oyebanji said costs of refining is too huge for their members to handle, runs into tens of billion dollars.

“That’s why you see that our members holding such licensees have not been able to do anything.”

He added that its members are “no longer the favourite customers of banks” due to the bag log of debts.

“Our members can’t get funding, and many of us have closed shops.”

When asked what the status of payment of the N800 billion subsidy debt, he explained that although the government had already issued N236 billion promissory note, however, marketers are yet to receive the money.

“There are still issues yet to be resolved with the banks as to how to convert the promissory note into cash. We expect the second tranche of the payment to come in no distant future as promised by the federal government,” he said.

He explained that the government had already told the banks to freeze interest rates from July 2017 and that reconciliation is ongoing to determine the real amount to be paid.

“We are currently negotiating with the government. We are also reconciling the forex rates as at when the loan was taken to determine what to pay. Nobody can say the exact amount the federal government will eventually pay, however, but we are hopeful our members will get the money soon and be able to pay their debts,” he said.

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.