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NNPCL no longer sole importer of petrol, private marketers now free to import — NMDPRA

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“So, it is not about the NNPC alone. For everybody in the sector, we make sure we guide their operations whether at the depot or wherever the product is, but we will not put a cap to say this is what the price must be”

In pursuit of the deregulation of the oil sector and subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government, private marketers can now import petrol into the country, a senior official has said.

Under the new arrangement, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) seizes to be the sole importer of petrol into the country.

Mr Farouk Ahmed, the Managing Director of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), disclosed this on Friday in Abuja.

“We put the regulation in place, we make sure quality control is complied with, we make sure the product is there and we give licence to a prospective importer.

“The market is now open for everybody that wants to import as far as they meet all the requirements.

“So, it is not about the NNPC alone. For everybody in the sector, we make sure we guide their operations whether at the depot or wherever the product is, but we will not put a cap to say this is what the price must be,” Persecondnews quotes Ahmed as saying.

Ahmed said marketers were also free to source their foreign exchange anywhere around the world to import petroleum products and then recover their costs without impediments.

“The CBN will not give dollars to anyone because it is an open market.

“Anyone willing to import should get the dollars from anywhere to import. Anyone willing to open a letter of credit from any part of the world can do that to import.

“That marketers can source their forex from anywhere is the beauty of the liberalized market that the NMDPRA has introduced based on the provision of the law.

“As far as we are concerned in the NMDPRA, this is not like before when the PPPRA fixed the price. In a deregulated market, it is the market force that dictates the price,” he explained.

Ahmed also said payments for bridging and equalization had also been scrapped as transportation cost would be borne by the marketers and added into the pump price.

He restated that with the removal of subsidy, the market will dictate the pump price of petrol.

“NMDPRA will no longer fix prices or release templates for petrol.

“As far as we are concerned in the NMDPRA, this is not like before when the PPPRA fixes the price; in a deregulated market, it is the market force that dictates the price.

“We make sure we guide the operations of everyone in the sector whether at the depot or wherever the product is but we will not put a cap to say this is what the price must be,” Ahmed also said.

He said the NMDPRA and the Consumer Protection Commission would prevent profiteering by petroleum marketers through aggressive monitoring.

Ahmed explained that just like every other product in the industry, under the liberalized market, market forces are allowed to dictate prices, adding “petrol prices would change in line with market forces.”

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