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We Can’t Access Forex to Pay Our Debts – Oil Marketers tell FG

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Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu

Oil marketers on Friday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to assist them in making foreign exchange available for the importation of petroleum products.

The marketers, under the umbrella of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DPPMAN), made the plea during a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun held at the headquarters of the ministry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the meeting, chaired by the minister, was attended by Chief Executive Officers of 46 major oil companies in the country.

It was held to discuss salient issues affecting the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The Chairman of DAPPMAN, Dapo Abiodun, told the minister that members of the association were currently having a tough time converting some of the Naira payments made by the government to dollars.

He said their inability to convert these payments from the Federal Government from Naira to dollar was making it difficult for them to meet their obligations to their foreign partners.

He said while the oil marketers would continue to do their best in importing petroleum products into the country, the unavailability of foreign exchange might make it challenging to achieve such objective.

NAN recalls that Federal Government had paid the oil marketers N48.2 billion minus Value Added Tax as the arrears of outstanding 2015 subsidy claims.

The amount, according to the Federal Ministry of Finance, is to enable them to import petroleum products and meet up their other financial needs.

Abiodun said except the Central Bank of Nigeria provided foreign exchange to oil marketers, the payment made by the government for fuel imports would continue to sit in their Naira accounts.

“We want to thank you for the recent payment of about N42 billion but we want to emphasise the fact that this Naira payment will continue to sit in our banks. We look forward to dialoguing with you as to how you can help us expedite the sourcing of foreign exchange to liquidate our exposures to our foreign bankers that we have line of credit with.

“We are very worried about going into a new dynamics in which marketers are now going to be sourcing forex at the rate that they can find, which we have approximated to around N285 to a dollar. We believe that it is a quick fix solution to all the epileptic supply of petroleum products in the county.

However, we still have this Naira sitting in our account from previous transactions and we are worried that if anything happens to the rate of exchange officially, we are going to be caught in between. We do not want to come back to you to ask for foreign exchange differentials which issue we still have pending from previous transactions,” he said.

Adeosun said the payment recently released by the government to the oil marketers was one of the liabilities inherited by the current administration.

She said the government would continue to do what it could to ensure availability of petroleum products in the county.

She expressed optimism that the reforms currently being implemented in the oil sector would restore confidence in the market.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

6 Comments

  1. RichyGame

    May 20, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I don’t sense the Hon. Minister of Finance addressing any real issue in her statements as regards the procurement of forex by the marketers to facilitate their imports.

    Even if sourcing and supplying FX exclusively for the marketers with guided eyes on its use to forestall any unsavory practices ’til this tide changes – if it will – I think, that isn’t out of place for now as fuel shortages are imminent if oil marketers can’t import due to this near-total FX scarcity. A balance needs to be struck and pretty soon too or we are back to making jerry cans our briefcases.

  2. nicole

    May 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Chai. Everyday bad news. God help Nigeria

  3. Zandyzay

    May 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    They should learn how manufacturing companies have been surviving and managing to stay afloat. They claim to be ‘successful’ businessmen. They should show us how to do business not relying on FG for forex exchange + subsidy to sell in an available market without competition yet holding us to ransom every now and then.

    • slice

      May 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Problem is fg put a cap on how much u can sell fuel. If you sourceforex at 285 or300, u can’t make the money back by charging the customers more

    • fixnigeriaseries

      May 21, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      My thoughts exactly! Other industries – the manufacturing sector inclusive – have been coping without forex since CBN placed a ban on forex access to 41 items last year. So they should join the parade, and find their way.

      But come o, what will CBN now be using all the forex accruing to the national accounts to do, since they no longer provide to oil marketers? I hope they don’t plan to set up private BDCs for their family members, or sell to black marketers to make a fortune? We need to know their plans…

    • RichyGame

      May 22, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Truth is, much of the manufacturing industries are having it hard with some slowly winding down production volume because they can’t source forex. save for Dangote with whom Emefiele apparently has a deal. He gets the bulk of allocations of forex each week since this brouhaha started and I’m telling you this from a very authoritative angle,

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