Petroleum marketers demand access to forex

Idowu Abdullahi
Idowu Abdullahi

The Depots, and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to allow its members access foreign exchange at the official rate.

The association said such gesture would boost fuel supply across the country.

The DAPPMAN’s Chairman, Mrs Winifred Akpani, while speaking during a press conference in Lagos State, said accessing foreign exchange at the official rate was a serious challenge to marketers.

She, however, appealed to the government to give petroleum marketers access to foreign exchange at the Central Bank of Nigeria official rate.

This, Akpani said, would enhance the supply and distribution of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, across Nigeria.

“Accessing dollars for our operations has been an insurmountable hurdle for petroleum marketers.

“The difference between CBN exchange rate and the parallel market exchange rate continues to get wider by the day,” she said.

Akpani added, “For example, to charter a vessel to convey 20,000 MT of petrol within Nigeria for 10 days, freight charges are denominated in dollars, which comes to about N220 million at an official forex rate of N440.

“And a whooping N440 million for petroleum marketers who have to source forex from the parallel market at N880.

“This implies an additional cost of N11 per litre for this transaction due to the forex official and parallel market differential,” she said.

According to her, for the same transaction, Jetty fees, also charged in dollars amount to N15.4 million at official forex rates and N30.8 million for petroleum marketers who source from the parallel market.

“In addition, Jetty Berth is charged in dollars and comes to N2.2m at the official forex rate and N4.4 million at parallel market rate.

“While port dues, charged in dollars by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, come to N71.51 million at the official forex rate and N142.796 million for marketers who source forex from the parallel market.

“DAPPMAN hereby calls on the government to establish a level playing field in the sector by giving petroleum marketers access to forex at the CBN exchange rate for their operations,” she said.

Akpani said accessing forex through the CBN window would enhance capacity and facilitate a seamless supply of petrol and birth a regime of sustainability in terms of storage, distribution, and supply across the nation.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., which historically served as the supplier of last resort, is now the major oil downstream company in Nigeria with the acquisition of OVH and has full access to dollars at CBN’s official rates.

“The NNPC also has access to products through swap arrangements,” she said.

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