Marketers of petroleum products under the umbrella of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) have said no member of the association has accessed foreign exchange for the importation of petrol at the rate of N305 per dollar since October 2017 as allegedly claimed by the immediate-past Chief Operating Officer, downstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih.
DAPPMAN equally said the $7.2 billion the NNPC official also claimed in a comment he recently made was applied for and received by the petroleum marketers was not accessed by members of the association “who by the spread of our business, would have extended supplies to all corners of the country, hence NNPC may need to further expatiate on the comment.”
The group, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its Executive
Secretary, Mr. Olufemi A. Adewole, stated that its members and indeed all petroleum marketers ceased to import petrol before the fourth quarter of 2017 due to rising cost of crude oil in the international market and marketers’ inability to access foreign exchange at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rate, adding that this precipitated the fuel scarcity the country experienced in December 2017 as well as 2018.
The statement read: “We have read the comments purportedly attributed to the out-going Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of NNPC,
Ikem-Obih, on the exchange rate at which petroleum marketers allegedly accessed dollars for the importation of petrol and seek to clarify thus: ‘It is true that at various instances within the lifespan of the immediate-past management of the NNPC, marketers were offered foreign exchange to import aviation fuel (ATK) and diesel at N330/$1 or
N346/$1 but no marketer accessed forex at N305/$1 as claimed, and at no time did foreign exchange sourced for fuel importation by petroleum marketers through NNPC-intervention sum up to $7.2 billion’.
“DAPPMAN members and indeed all petroleum marketers ceased to import petrol before the fourth quarter of 2017 due to rising cost of crude oil in the international market and marketers’ inability to access foreign exchange at the official CBN rate; this precipitated the fuel scarcity the country experienced in December 2017 and far into 2018.
“NNPC at that time, and till date, assumed the responsibility of the importer of last resort because it is the only corporation that can access the foreign exchange proceeds of crude oil exporters and utilises same to import petrol at the official central bank rate and thereafter sell to petroleum marketers.
“The $7.2 billion purportedly applied for and received by petroleum marketers as claimed by the NNPC chieftain was not accessed by members of DAPPMAN who by the spread of our business would have extended supplies to all corners of the country, hence NNPC may need to further expatiate on the comment.”
The statement further read: “We dare say, even the presidential directives to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to receive payments on fuel-laden vessels in naira currency from petroleum marketers based on the N305/$1, which the CBN promised it would provide, was never implemented by the federal agencies for reasons best known to them.
“Petroleum marketers within the fold of DAPPMAN would continue to engage the federal government and its agencies on the need to create an even playing field for all industry practitioners for the development of the country’s economy and its advancement.”