Dollar scarcity threatens fuel importation

The scarcity of foreign exchange, especially the dollar, is currently threatening import contracts for Premium Motor Spirit otherwise called petrol.

Marketers of petroleum products are now finding it difficult to get dollars to finance import transactions.

It was learnt that some marketers who recently had their credit lines reopened by their banks after a long wait, are also having challenges getting adequate dollar conversions.

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMAN), Olufemi Adewole confirmed this development to journalists.

Adewole said the development had been brought to the notice of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He said the apex bank is expected to take quick action before the situation gets out of hand.

He said, “One serious problem marketers are having now is the scarcity of foreign exchange to conclude product supply transactions. Even with our cash in our bank accounts, we cannot get the required amount of dollars.

“We need the CBN Governor to intervene as far as the supply of foreign exchange to marketers is concerned.

“The PPMC is not the only importer of PMS as of today. Some of our members just discharged their cargos. Although we have not been paid, we are optimistic that very soon our members will be paid by the government.

“All the banks have yet to open credit lines to our members, but some of our members have obtained one or two additional credit lines to import products from their banks as we speak.”

Early this month, some stakeholders in the downstream sub-sector of the nation’s petroleum industry said the silence of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government on policy direction is doing more harm than good to the segment and the nation’s economy at large.

They said the President’s muteness over critical issues like the subsidy arrears owed oil marketers, the future of the subsidy regime for PMS, the Petroleum Industry Bill and other matters bordering on the general regulation of the downstream petroleum business, was unhealthy for the country.


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