According to them, marketers will only import Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, if the rate of forex is suitable enough to encourage the importation of the commodity, despite the ongoing review of template by the Federal Government.
On Friday, the Federal Government announced that it had commenced a review of the pricing template for petrol and insisted that the commodity would sell at N145 per litre.
However, oil marketers on Saturday, said the Federal Government could retain the cost of petrol at N145/litre after reviewing the pricing template, but outlined the conditions that will make this feasible for importers of petrol.
The National Vice President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Maigandi, told SUNDAY PUNCH that it was possible to review the pricing template for PMS and retain the cost of the commodity at N145/litre.
He said, “Yes, anything government says it wants to do on this issue can be considered possible because the minister had already outlined three conditions.
“The first condition has to do with regulation and the next is for the NNPC to sell at a given rate to marketers who will now add their margins, while the third is through forex (foreign exchange).
“So if the government can give forex to marketers, then automatically marketers can be able to sell at the rate of N145/litre.
“So whether the template is reviewed or not, one major factor is the issue of forex. Currently, the dollar is about N365 and if the government can make it available to marketers at a rate of about N250, then marketers will be able to sell the product at the rate of N145/litre when they import.”
The IPMAN official also stated it is expected that Nigeria’s refineries will start functioning properly in about 18 months based on what the petroleum minister said recently at the National Assembly.
Maigandi said, “We hope that in the next 18 months our refineries will be in order, because that is what the minister said recently and he (Kachikwu) also said we are expecting other refineries to come on stream, like the Dangote refinery, as well as other modular refineries.
“But the truth is that as it is now, marketers cannot import petrol because of the cost of the commodity in the international market and the high forex rate.
“So we are expecting government to tell which of the listed conditions it will adopt so that this fuel crisis will end once and for all.”
Another oil marketer, however, wondered how the template would be reviewed to retain the cost of petrol at N145/litre, considering the price of the commodity in the international market.
This is coming as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Saturday stated that the pump price of petrol was N143/litre in NNPC retail outlets and N145/litre in other filling stations, while PMS ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre to marketers was still being maintained.