Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Worried by the sufferings being experienced by Nigerians with the lingering fuel scarcity, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, thursday urged the federal government to revisit its foreign exchange policy for dealers in the downstream sector of the oil industry.
Ibrahim, who represents Kwara South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, disclosed this to journalists in Offa, during the inauguration of the newly renovated Offa Library for the people of the area.
The Senator also inaugurated nine other projects like boreholes, transformers, among others for the people of Ajase-Ipo, Ganmo, Osi, Ilofa, Omu-Aran and Erinle communities that make up the Kwara South senatorial district of the state.
He said fuel marketers’ complaints that the landing cost of imported premium motor spirit (PMS) would no longer enable them to sell fuel at the official price of N145 per litre should be looked into.
The legislator noted that though the state of the nation’s economy does not guarantee special rate for foreign exchange, government and stakeholders in the oil industry must work out new template to lessen the burden on the marketers.
He, however, urged the government not to see the call to address the anomaly in foreign exchange policy for oil marketers as a way of increasing the pump price of PMS, saying that the effects on the masses must also be taken into cognisance
Senator Ibrahim expressed optimism that the lingering crisis which precipitated the shortage of fuel supply, would fizzle out soon.
The legislator also assured that the National Assembly would collaborate with the executive to ensure that the problem of fuel shortage is addressed.
“That (foreign exchange) is the major problem. You can see that even the GMD of NNPC talked about the figures about the landing cost.
“So, that means the marketers cannot be blamed; they have been operating probably unprofitably, I mean the major marketers and importers.
“ That is why the government must look at it holistically to make sure the template they are using in bringing oil is profitable to the marketers and we are able to maintain the price that we agreed with the masses.
“And I know the government, the marketers and the regulators are working 24/7 to make sure we actualise that. And I believe very soon, it would become something of the past”, Ibrahim said.
On the commissioned projects, the banker turned politician said it was part of the policy of the political structure he belongs to embark on community development projects so as to improve the living condition of the people.