Ladies and gentlemen, fuel scarcity is about to return

by Chi Ibe

Oil marketers have still not resumed the importation of petrol despite the sharp increase in its pump price.

The Cable is reporting a government source who describes it as “a stab in the back” .

To resolve the foreign exchange crisis affecting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as only importer of PMS, marketers – who had stopped importing petrol in the last quarter of last year – were invited to discuss with the government.

“We reached a number of agreements,” the source told the paper. “One, they would source for forex from the secondary market. Two, the pump price would be adjusted upward to allow them recover without subsidy,” he said.

“In reaching the agreement to increase the price from N86.50 to a maximum of N145 per litre, we worked with a rate of N300 to $1, although the interbank rate is N285, and that is the secondary market where they were to source forex.

“We also agreed to clear subsidy areas running into about N50 billion, which had been outstanding since 2015. All agreed, and government went ahead to announce the price increase.

“We also paid the subsidy areas. All of a sudden, the marketers started saying they needed forex from the CBN again. They are yet to resume importation, and what the NNPC has in stock cannot last the distance.”

 

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