The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has said total deregulation of the downstream sub-sector remains the best option, as no marketer is getting foreign exchange at N305 to a dollar for importation of petrol.
Its chairman, Tunji Oyebanji who made the clarifications on the side-lines of the just concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, said none of its members were getting foreign exchange at N305 to a dollar for the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.
The Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, NNPC, Henry Ikem-Obih had stated that the state corporation was able to save $1.7billion from the forex intervention scheme which was rolled out by CBN and co- managed by the NNPC, adding that applications that came in for AGO,HHK,HTK also got forex at N305/$1.
According to Oyebanji, I don’t know who is getting it at that 305, so, if NNPC is giving some marketers at that rate, I want to believe it is not a transparent thing. I don’t know who is getting it.
If we are getting it at N305 for importation of petrol, we will be importing but we are not getting it; when the scheme started, that was the plan and CBN was the one handling it.
Eventually, the NNPC took over, and we don’t know who is getting it at N305. So, maybe he can enlighten us by publishing the names of those who are getting it,” he said.
Oyebanji, who also the Managing Director of 11Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), said: “We are not importing petrol at all but if we want to import Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) or Aviation Turbine Kerosene (aviation fuel), we have to go and buy at N330 or N346.
“You can’t compete because the NNPC is bringing everything at N305; so, it is not a level-playing field at all.
“If we are getting forex at 305 may be, we will be able to import but again technically, for the country as a whole does it truly makes sense? In the market, the dollar is being sold at N360.”
The MOMAN Chief said for now, there is no other alternative for marketers to commence importation of petrol until Dangote refinery comes on stream, which might ease supply and reduce fuel importation.
He urged government to plan ahead of deregulation so that Nigerians can be prepare for the deregulation, adding that if planning will take us five years, let it start from somewhere as deregulation should not catch Nigerians unaware.
He said that there should a palliative to cushion the effect of for the total deregulation, even as he commended government for paying marketers outstanding subsidy debts.