Fuel scarcity: Oil majors agree to provide $200m forex to four oil marketers
MINISTER of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, Thursday, disclosed that four oil majors had agreed to provide foreign exchange valued at about $200 million, over the next one year, to four major oil marketers to help fund fuel imports. This was even as fuel crisis continued in Abuja and other states of the federations, despite promises by Kachikwu that the queues would end in Abuja and Lagos Thursdy.
Kachikwu, it was learned, had to shelve his planned visit to some parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, due to queues which had refused to vanish.
On efforts to address the unavailability of foreign exchange, Kachikwu, in a video posted on the social media, listed the four oil majors providing the funds as Total, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Eni SpA. According to Kachikwu, Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corporation will provide dollars to their local retail units—Total Nigeria Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc was paired with local oil importers as Conoil Plc and Eni SpA with Oando Plc.
He said: “I have been able to convince the upstream oil companies to provide foreign exchange buffers over the next one year for those who are bringing in products.” He further stated that the oil ministry had been in talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to make special foreign-currency allocation for fuel importers.
“I have had to box my way through the Central Bank of Nigeria to get a little bit more allocation because we provide the bulk of this foreign exchange; we should have a bit of it to help stabilize the fuel situation,” he said.
Kachikwu once again blamed the unending fuel crisis witnessed across the country on the shortage of foreign exchange, which had made it difficult for major and independent oil marketers to fund their fuel imports. In spite of the many promises and assurances, long queues were recorded at major petrol stations across Abuja and Lagos, as many other petrol stations were shut down due to unavailability -Vanguard