Oil marketers want payment of $800m forex differentials
As banks and other lenders have begun a recovery programme to recoup loans and debt from the downstream sector of the oil industry, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure payment of two years accumulated claims on interest and foreign exchange differentials of over $800 to allow for free flow of Premium Motor Spirit in Nigeria (PMS) in the country.
Besides, the current PMS monthly data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed that average price of petrol has been sustained at price adjusted by the Federal Government.
The Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Femi Olawore, who confirmed the outstanding debt to The Guardian on the side line of the just concluded yearly conference of Association of Energy Correspondent of Nigeria (NAEC), said that part of the debts and loans they owe banks were still with the government in form of foreign exchange differential and taxes on subsidy debts of 2014 and 2015, and has remained unpaid by the Federal Government.
Olawore added that the government needs to pay the debts to help importers fulfill their debt obligations to banks and other lenders.
He said: “As we speak, we are being owed backlog of foreign exchange differential as well as taxes on subsidy regime of 2014 and 2015,”
He added that lack of laws that will govern the downstream sector is a bane to investment in the sector.
According to him, “with my over 36 years in the downstream sector, Nigeria has no structure or legal framework that will govern the sector. What we have in Nigeria are ‘directives’ by successive governments. That’s why such directives change as new government comes to power.
“Presently, we do not have a deregulated pump price of petrol. What we have is partial deregulation where the government fixed the cap of prices. Had the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), been passed, it would have addressed the challenge of lack of investors’ confidence in the Nigerian oil sector.”
Olawore lamented that marketers are still having the challenge of sourcing for forex, which he said, has become a major problem in the down stream sector.
He also said: “Even with the policy of floating rate for Dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there is no sufficient forex in the market. You hardly can get Dollar at official rate of N285, meaning that marketers have to source for forex from the black market rate of over N378, even with this, forex is not readily available.
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