Monday, 16 June 2014

Federal Government Approves Q3 Import Allocation for PMS.

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
The Federal Government has approved and released Quarter three (Q3) allocation for the importation of fuel by oil marketers.
The approval which was done by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, was disclosed by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
PPPRA explained that the gesture was in line with President Jonathan's agenda in Nigeria's downstream oil and gas sector, as well as the minister's commitment to sustained petroleum products availability at PPPRA-regulated price.
It further stated that from information available to the PPPRA, the approval had been confirmed while the decision was taken to show to all Nigerians that the Federal Government was highly committed to its promise of ensuring sustained products availability across the country and at government approved price.
The PPPRA explained that apart from facilitating an improved national Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) supply situation and stock buildup which is now put at 35-days sufficiency (Land-19 and Marine- 16), the latest effort was also to enable marketers make adequate preparations towards products sourcing and importation.
The PPPRA equally commended the minister for all the proactive initiatives put in place to ensure products availability across the nation and at PPPRA regulated price.
The agency thus appealed to all oil marketers to reciprocate government's gestures by commencing the process of products purchase on time, in order to forestall any form of future shortage.
It promised to ensure prompt processing of documents for all imported products duly brought into the country.
The Petroleum Minister had commenced a regime of earlier release of quarterly PMS allocations in April 2014, with the release of Q2, in addition to a supplementary Q1 allocation.
According to the PPPRA, the widely-applauded approval, apart from providing additional imports to supplement the then prevailing level of importation into the system, is now responsible for the sustained availability of petroleum products across the country at regulated prices.
In a bid to forestall a repeat of the recent acute fuel scarcity caused by the late release of the first quarter 2014 fuel import allocation, the Federal Government had in April approved the release of the import allocation for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the private Oil Marketing and Trading (OM &T) companies for the second quarter 2014.
This came at a period when the government also approved supplementary allocation for the first quarter 2014 to ensure additional imports that would supplement the initial allocation.
The first quarter import allocation, which ought to have been released at the end of December 2013 or the beginning of January 2014 to enable NNPC and the private marketers to import products for the months of January to March, was delayed till February 21, 2014, causing months of scarcity and hardship for motorists and other users of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.
Before the immediate past Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, came on board in November 2011, the business of fuel importation into the country was an all-comers’ affair.
The development resulted in manipulations and malpractices that swelled subsidy claims to about N2 trillion, with a total of 128 companies engaged in fuel importation, thus providing an opportunity for the abuse of the system.
However, in the first import permit handled by Stanley in the first quarter of 2012, the number of participating companies was reduced from 128 to 42, before it was further reduced to 39 in the third quarter of 2012.
The volume of imported products also dropped from 5.036 billion litres in the first quarter of 2012 to 4.20 billion litres in the third quarter of 2012.
However, concern that these accredited importers’ difficulty in accessing credits from the banks could fuel another crisis in the system, prompted the PPPRA to expand the list to up to 40 participating companies since 2013. THISDAY.

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