Thursday, July 20, 2023


The first batch of petrol, consisting of 27 million litres, has been imported into the country by an independent marketer, marking the end of the downstream monopoly previously held by NNPCL. The vessel, ST Nnene, was delayed due to adverse weather off Lome waters but finally arrived at Ijegun-Egba on Wednesday. The importation incurred a cost of $17 million (about N13 billion) for Emadeb Energy's CEO, Adebowale Olujimi, along with support from five financial institutions - Polaris, First Bank, Union Bank, Access Bank, and Fidelity Bank.

Olujimi emphasized that relying on petrol importation is unsustainable, especially after witnessing the recent surge in PMS price to over N600 per litre. He believes that reviving local refining is the viable way forward to address such challenges.

Farouk Ahmed Sadiq Bashir, the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, regarded this development as a crucial milestone in the deregulated downstream sector. He clarified that deregulation is not just about price increases but also about fostering competition and allowing other players to enter the market. While there might be initial difficulties, the introduction of market forces would eventually lead to competitive pricing and improved product quality.

Afolabi Olawale, the General Secretary of the Natural Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, also supported the idea of local refining. He suggested that if the country were to embrace deregulation, it should not solely rely on importation and instead encourage domestic refining. While acknowledging the current challenges faced by the public, he called for the government to expedite palliative measures. Additionally, Olawale urged marketers to refrain from excessive profiteering during this transitional phase.

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