Energy: Why IOCs can’t meet fuel marketers’ forex demand – Today

dollar to naira

When in April 2016 the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced plans to make forex available to fuel importers through a support scheme from some International Oil Companies (IOCs), many heaved a sigh of relief, believing that the initiative would help address the twin challenge of scarce forex and the high cost of sourcing it.

But four months after the initiative, the situation is not any better as some stakeholders disclosed that the impact of the intervention by the IOCs through the NNPC has not really impacted their operations as a lot of monies denominated in naira were still in their bank accounts waiting to be converted to dollars, without much success recorded in this regard.

Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, hinted that from April till date, only $400 million had been made available to MOMAN and others in forex through the intervention of the IOCs.

This was as the Executive Secretary of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, equally said that some foreign suppliers of petrol had suspended sale of refined fuel to Nigeria over its inability to settle about $985 million debt.

The Chief Operations Officer in charge of Downstream at the NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, had, during a tour of petrol stations in Abuja in April, disclosed that a number of IOCs in the upstream oil and gas sector have agreed to provide foreign exchange for oil marketing companies for the importation of premium motor spirit also known as petrol.