Federal Government, acting through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, has recently issued a total of 94 importation licenses to oil marketers. This significant decision was disclosed by Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive of NMDPRA, during the inaugural session of the 17th Oil Trading & Logistics Expo held in Lagos. The focal point of this year’s expo is ‘Energy, synergy and new beginnings’.
Ahmed expounded during his keynote address that these licenses are specifically designated for wholesale suppliers, enabling them to import Premium Motor Spirit (commonly referred to as petrol) into the country. This move came in the wake of President Bola Tinubu’s decision to withdraw subsidies on petroleum products.
Intriguingly, out of the 94 licenses granted, a mere eight suppliers managed to fulfill their obligations by delivering eight cargoes of PMS, totaling an impressive 251,000 metric tons. This transactional activity was executed over the period spanning from June to September 2023. This somewhat limited performance can be attributed to the prevailing challenges of forex liquidity and the persistently high foreign exchange rates.
According to Ahmed, “94 wholesale suppliers were issued permits to import PMS into the country. Eight suppliers delivered eight cargoes of PMS totaling 251,000 MT within the period June – September 2023. This low performance was due to the challenge of forex liquidity which has constrained the Oil Marketing Companies’ ability to import the product.”
However, there is a sense of optimism emanating from the Federal Government. They remain hopeful that the concerted efforts aimed at bolstering the stability of the harmonising forex market will pave the way for more oil marketing companies to engage in the importation of petrol. This collaborative endeavor is envisioned to be in tandem with the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.