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FG tightens conditions for oil import licence, says debtor oil marketers barred henceforth

As part of new efforts to drive in sanity into the petroleum products import and marketing, the Federal Government has come up with new policy, saying it would no longer issue petroleum product import licences to oil marketers who failed to clear their outstanding statutory financial obligations to the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).

Government also made it clear that some oil marketers owed the PEF the statutory fee meant for bridging the cost of petroleum products, adding that this was affecting the uniformity of prices of petroleum products across the country, particularly that of petrol.

It would be recalled that part of the reasons for the recent strike by Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ (PTD) was poor welfare of the driver but the NNPC resolved the crisis by adding one naria to the bridging cost and moved it from N6.20 to N7.20.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Mrs. Brenda Ataja, explained that the supply chain for petroleum products worked in a cycle, adding that the failure of any marketer to pay the necessary bridging cost levy would adversely affect the chain.

The Minister said “In view of the debt obligations and challenges in paying transporters for products being bridged, we must understand that the supply chain is a cycle. If marketers do not pay the statutory fee, it will affect the ability for products to reach the various locations in Nigeria at uniform prices, which is why the PEF was created in the first place.

“What the minister identified was enforcement for the marketers to pay their PEF dues. Marketers are to pay their outstanding dues to the PEF for products that have been bridged from each terminal. The directive from the minister is to enforce payment and it is not a directive to stop importation. Once you pay your outstanding obligation, you will get your licence to import products.”

Explaining issues on the pricing template for PMS, the Acting Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Mr. Victor Shidok, said the government had not in any way increased the pump price of petrol despite the recent additional N1 per litre rate to the bridging cost for transporters of petroleum products.

Shidok, said, “The minister has strongly directed that we emphasis repeatedly to Nigerians that the price cap for PMS remains N145 per litre and that there is no plan to increase petrol price.

“The additional N1 per litre transporters’ bridging rate shall not in any way translate to an upward review in the pump price of PMS. This information has been communicated to all stakeholders accordingly. All necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that the price of petrol remains within the set limits.”