Fuel marketers are finding it difficult to import Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), two years after the Federal Government removed subsidy on the product.
The marketers, which include members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMAN), said they stayed away from the importation because of the outstanding subsidy arrears being owed by the government.
The marketers said the issue was borne out of scarcity of foreign exchange (forex), adding that access to forex has been diificult.
They said it was becoming impossible to meet the demands of the consumers who use the product for cooking.
IPMAN’s National Operations Controller, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said members of the association were not importing DPK, but insisted that the DPK market should be fully deregulated.
According to him, any IPMAN member could bring in DPK after getting the approvals from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
Osatuyi said: “We will start importing DPK when the coast is clear. By this, I mean when we are through with our internal reorganisation. But I must say the demand for the product is dropping as people are switching over to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).”Because we believe the market is fully deregulated, I don’t think we will have any issue with foreign exchange when it is time to import.”
According to him, the landing cost of fuel imported into the country has increased relative to rise in the price of crude oil in the international market, adding that many marketers could not get enough to buy the product from the refiners abroad.
Also, DAPPMAN’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Femi Adewole, said operators in the downstream sub-sector were worst hit, as they grapple with funds shortage.
He said marketers were unable to get enough foreign exchange for importation of fuel, especially kerosene.
He said failure of the marketers to access funds from banks coupled and the government’s inability to pay their subsidies made it difficult for them to import kerosene.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the only approved firm to import fuel, sells DPK to marketers at an ex-depot price of N190 per litre. This implies that marketers would pay more because of landing cost, if they are to import.
By this, a near monopoly of the product has been created by the national oil company, a development, which has further compounded the problems of many Nigerians that use kerosene, which is the most commonly used fuel in the country.
The issue has left many household users to pay as much as N350 per litre to get the product for use.
The post Forex scarcity: Marketers bicker over kerosene import appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.