NMDPRA, oil marketers move to resolve petroleum products distribution challenges

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has held a meeting with oil marketers to resolve the challenges faced with importation and distribution of petroleum products in the country.

The meeting was hosted by NMDPRA’s Chief Executive, Mr Farouk Ahmed, on Monday in Abuja.

It featured representatives of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

The Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, among other stakeholders were also represented at the meeting.

The meeting was necessitated by challenges faced by oil marketers, ranging from foreign exchange scarcity for importation of petroleum products, deplorable roads nationwide, non-functional refineries and refusal of banks to provide loans.

Ahmed, while speaking to the newsmen shortly after the meeting, said the meeting tackled issues surrounding the seamless distribution of petroleum products and the way forward.

He said based on the discussion, the oil marketers solicited the authority’s support to ensure the federal government guarantees availability of petroleum products at affordable prices.

“We had very robust discussions and the oil marketers expressed their concerns and also areas where we can support both the marketers and transporters to ensure that there is flow of petrol products across the country.

“NNPC Limited has assured of supply and also the marketers have expressed their concerns about the availability of foreign exchange in order to also import and sell.

“As regulators, we can continue to say the market is open for everybody and all those who have applied for license, over 90 marketing companies have gotten.

“We have given them access to all the required support that they needed in order to ensure there is a constant supply of products in the country,” he said.

On the foreign exchange challenges faced by marketers, Ahmed explained that engagement had been ongoing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in that direction to make the dollar available.

“We are all working towards stabilising of the naira,” he said.

Mr Dapo Segun, Executive Vice President, Upstream, NNPC Ltd., assured of the commitment of the national oil company to make petroleum products available to Nigerians.

Segun said the company would continue to shop for supply. “We are looking at ways to resolve these issues. We at NNPC will continue to make sure that supply is there and we will also support the industry.”

The Chairman of DAPPMAN, Mrs Winifred Akpani, also assured of adequate supply of the products and said Nigerians should not panic.

“The government has promised to resolve some of the issues for us, bearing in mind that we just transited from regulated market to deregulated market.

“We expect some of these issues to come but the most important thing is the willingness of all of us as stakeholders to resolve the problem,” she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria