The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provided about $3.6 billion foreign exchange (FX) to oil marketers to import petroleum products into the country contrary to claims by the marketers that they had no access to FX for imports. The Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of the NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, said this yesterday at a panel session at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
He said the claims by the marketers that their inability to import petroleum product was due to problems related to access to foreign exchange was not true. Although he did not mention the period the FX interventions were made, Obih said, “The truth is that the forex intervention scheme which was rolled out by CBN and co-managed by the NNPC has been extremely successful.”
“Since that scheme was set up, we have received applications from marketers for $7.2 billion worth of FX. In terms of actual disbursement, about 50 percent of the applications got funding. But the truth is that the FX that came through that scheme, especially for PMS, got potential funding for the majority of the applicants and FX was available to the marketers,” he said.
He said, however, that applications that came in for AGO (diesel), HHK (kerosene), ATK (aviation fuel) also got forex at 305 to a dollar. Daily Trust reports that private oil marketers were said to have stopped fuel importation in 2017 due to a shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude prices, which they said had made it unprofitable to import petrol and sell same at N145 per litre.