… Assures Nigerians Of Steady Supply Of Petrol At Affordable Price
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, on Monday met with representative of oil marketers to resolve the challenges faced in the importation and smooth distribution of petroleum products in the country.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the NMDPRA in Abuja.
It was attended by representatives from the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners among other stakeholders.
In recent weeks, oil marketers have been battling with various challenges ranging from scarcity of foreign exchange to import petroleum products, deplorable road conditions to distribute petroleum products across the country, non-functional state of the country’s refineries and refusal of banks to provide credit for oil and gas businesses.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, the NMDPRA Boss said the meeting was a fruitful one as issues surrounding the seamless distribution of petroleum products were discussed.
He said from the discussion, the oil marketers have pledged their support to the Federal Government in guaranteeing the availability of petroleum products to Nigerians at affordable prices.
He said, “We had very robust discussions and they (oil marketers) expressed their concerns and also areas where we can support both the marketers and transporters to ensure that there is flow of petrol products across the country.
“So, NNPC has assured of supply and also the marketers have expressed their concerns about the availability of foreign exchange in order to also import and sell at the price.
“We, as regulators can continue to say the market is open for everybody and all those who have applied for license, over 90 marketing companies have gotten. We have given them access to all the required support that they needed in order to ensure there is a constant supply of products in the country.”
When asked on the assistance being given on the issue of foreign exchange challenges faced by marketers, the NMDPRA boss explained that engagement is ongoing with the Central Bank of Nigeria in that direction.
Ahmed added, “We have been discussing with the government and if you must have observed that a lot of work going on within the CBN in terms of their internal restructuring which will make available the dollar as soon as everything stabilizes.
“We are also working towards improvement in crude oil production, which will bring more revenue into the country and then of course, boost our foreign reserves.
“These are all part of the factors that we are all working on towards stabilizing of the naira.”
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, NNPC Limited, Mr Dapo Segun assured of the commitment of the national oil company to make petroleum products available for Nigerians.
He said, “NNPC will continue to shop for supply. And yes, we’ve had discussions with other industry players on the issues affecting the industry.
“We are looking at ways to resolve these issues. We, at NNPC will continue to make sure that supply is there and we will also support the industry.”
The Chairman of DAPPMAN, Mrs Winifred Akpani, told journalists that there is adequate supply of the products and there is no need for Nigerians to panic.
She said, “I think its a good opportunity that this meeting is holding today. We know there’s adequate supply of products. We have sufficient products in the country and we have sufficient products in our depot and most of us we have products in our stations.
“The government has promised to resolve some of the issues for us, bearing in mind that we just transited from regulated market to deregulated market.
“We expect some of these issues to come but the most important thing is the willingness of all of us as stakeholders to resolve the problem.
“We assure the entire country that there is sufficient product and we will do all within our means to make sure that people never suffer for paying a higher price.”