Buhari set to bar marketers from importing fuel
President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government is set to ensure that only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) imports petroleum products.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele made this disclosure in an interview with Financial Times of London recently.
He said: “The president came on board and said that we will work very hard to reduce importation of petroleum products by ensuring that our refineries work. Our refineries are working now. Warri and Port Harcourt have started producing, they have not obtained the optimal capacity but they will. Kaduna refinery will start working this month.
“Now, there are other actions that the presidency is putting in place to ensure that we reduce importation of petroleum products where the NNPC will solely, almost solely be responsible for procuring refined petroleum so those who are importing petroleum products will only just need to go to the NNPC and pick up petroleum products.
“So in that area I would say that we are already moving in the direction of reducing the import of petroleum products. And we will achieve it.”
On the president’s efforts to recover stolen oil monies deposited in banks, Emefiele said “as the central bank, we will also assist in drilling them once we get to that stage, and we will be happy to have that money back because it will improve our reserves.”
Speaking on Buhari’s order that revenue-generating agencies operate a Treasury Single Account, the CBN boss explained that, “once they receive the revenues, the revenues must come to the centre, and that means those revenues will come to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
“We had instances where some of those revenues were trapped outside the central bank. The president came on and he insisted that all revenues come to the centre and that’s what we are saying, and it’s the reason why you are seeing some improvements in the reserves position,” he noted.
Emefiele also commented on the gap between the parallel market and the inter-bank rate.
“The gap is closing and I imagine that foreign investors should be happy that we are doing everything possible to close the gap. Based on that, they will believe us when we say that the parallel market is a shallow market, and that there is no need to use the parallel market as the benchmark for determining the real value of our currency.”