PETROAN Advances Talks for Offshore Fuel Supply to Nigeria

Association Aims to Import 300,000 Metric Tons of Petroleum Products

by Adenike Adeodun

The Petroleum Products Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) is in advanced discussions with four offshore refineries to import 300,000 metric tons of petrol, diesel, jet fuel, and cooking gas into Nigeria by early 2024. This move, aiming to bolster the Nigerian market, contrasts with some calls for a significant petrol price hike.

According to a report by The Sun, PETROAN National President, Mr Billy Harry, shared these developments in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, revealing the plans to partner with refineries in Kazakhstan and Houston. He is scheduled to travel to Houston, Texas, next week to finalize arrangements.

Facing current forex challenges, Harry stated that PETROAN is exploring alternative payment solutions to avoid straining Nigeria’s forex market. The association is committed to adhering to international best practices for payments, ensuring a transparent and trackable financial process. This strategy is expected to enable PETROAN to import petroleum products at more affordable prices for its members.

The impending revitalization of the Port Harcourt refinery is anticipated to provide some relief, and the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna refineries is seen as essential for stabilizing the distribution value chain.

Harry highlighted the critical need to enhance Nigerians’ purchasing power by ensuring access to cheaper fuel. He expressed concern over the dwindling profit margins for fuel retailers, particularly those dispensing less than 10,000 litres per day. Rising diesel costs and other overheads have led to various survival strategies among retail owners, including cost-cutting measures and staff reductions.

In response to the debate over petrol prices, Harry opposed suggestions to increase the price to N1,200 per litre, arguing that as long as the NNPC continues to provide products at a rate allowing for sales below N1,000 per litre, there is no justification for such a hike.

NNPC Limited’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Mr. Olufemi Soneye, clarified that there has been no conflict with the party regarding subsidy reduction or pricing. Soneye emphasized that NNPC Limited has not supported the idea of a N1,200 per litre price peg.

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