NNPC retains position as Nigeria’s only importer of fuel – minister

The meeting between the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and oil marketers in Abuja yesterday on how to end the recurring fuel scarcity challenge ended with a firm resolution that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remains the sole importer of petrol.

Another major takeaway from the meeting was that the price of petrol remains ₦145/litre as Kachikwu said the government has no plan whatsoever to hike the pump price of the product.

An oil marketer who was at the meeting but craved anonymity said government’s decision to be the sole importer of petrol was to immediately relieve itself of the middlemen albatross, as they have become a bone in government’s neck.

The source said the government’s thinking was that by removing the middlemen, the cost of delivering petrol will be much cheaper for both the government and the consumers.

“Owing to the decision, the Federal Government has removed a major intermediary being the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA). It is from them the independent marketers source fuel.

According to the source, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu who chaired the meeting warned the stakeholders not to leak the information to press before he briefs President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister, it was learnt, however raised a committee to look into the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) scarcity that crippled economic activities in the country in December last year.

The source said that the marketers informed the minister that they will not be able to import petrol which price has increased following the rise in the price of crude oil.

Owing to their abdication of their role of fuel importation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will remain the sole importer of petroleum products.

The discussion is how to make the fuel available nationwide. We have already told them that it is only NNPC that will be able to import the PMS. The marketers cannot import the PMS because of the cost of the crude oil.

They told us that instead of a thoroughput arrangement, they will be giving independent marketers their products directly. This is to enable us get our product direct and sell at the pump price. This is instead of passing it through DAPPMA to IPMAN.