In a positive development for Nigerian consumers, major oil marketers and independent dealers have announced that large consignments of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, will soon be imported into the country. This influx of fuel imports is expected to result in a reduction in the price of petrol, benefiting both major and independent dealers. The recent unification of Nigeria’s exchange rate has boosted the confidence of operators, leading to crude oil refiners releasing refined petroleum products on credit to Nigerian dealers.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has declared its intention to compete with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in importing petrol. This competition among different importers is anticipated to further drive down the cost of PMS. Previously, NNPCL was the sole importer of petrol, as other marketers were unable to access the United States dollar, resulting in an unfair advantage for NNPCL due to lower exchange rates.
The Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Clement Isong, revealed that the imported products are expected to arrive in Nigeria between the second and third week of July. Isong also emphasized that NNPCL has made significant fuel imports, ensuring that the country will not experience fuel scarcity. Importers can choose to purchase from NNPCL ex-depots or import from Europe, comparing prices to determine the most competitive option.
Marketers are sourcing foreign exchange (forex) for imports from various channels, including banks and other sources. The unified exchange rate has instilled confidence among importers and eliminated the advantage some had with preferential exchange rates. Isong further highlighted that dealers with good relationships with suppliers may obtain products on credit, although this comes at a slightly higher cost.
Meanwhile, private depot owners have already begun reducing the price of petrol below the rate charged by NNPCL. The Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Shuaibu, confirmed that as imports from different marketers reach Nigeria, the cost of PMS is likely to decrease. He emphasized that the deregulated sector allows for competition, with both major and independent marketers expected to contribute to a reduction in petrol prices. Shuaibu also acknowledged the decline in petrol consumption due to the economic crisis and increased prices.
The arrival of fuel imports, expected to commence next week, presents a positive outlook for Nigerian consumers. The increased competition among importers, coupled with private depot owners lowering petrol prices, is likely to alleviate the financial burden on citizens. The reduction in petrol prices is a welcome relief amid the economic challenges faced by the country. As Nigeria aims for a more stable and competitive fuel market, consumers can look forward to improved access and affordability of petrol in the near future.
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