Thursday, April 7

Oil companies ‘provide forex’ to end fuel scarcity

Oil companies ‘provide forex’ to end fuel scarcity

Ibe Kachikwu

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, says he has been able to convince some international oil companies to provide needed foreign exchange to end recurring fuel scarcity.

Speaking in a podcast posted on Facebbok on Thursday, Kachikwu, who doubles as the group managing director of NNPC, said they would provide needed forex for the next one year.

“The first thing that I have tried to do is, for the first time in this country, I have been able to convince the upstream companies to provide some forex buffer over the next one year for those who are bringing in products,” he said.

“And so I’ve tied, Total Upstream to Total Downstream, Mobil Upstream to Mobil Downstream, Agip ENI to Oando, Shell to Conoil and things like that. It’s been very innovative, putting $200 million of forex availability out into the space.

“It’s taken a lot of goodwill, it’s taken a lot of work from me.”

He said the NNPC has had to box its way through getting some forex from the central bank of Nigeria, to save the day.

“The second thing we’ve done is we’ve had to box our way through the CBN to get a little of allocation, because we provide the bulk of this foreign exchange.

“We should have a bit of it to help stabilise the situation, because fuel queue – don’t make any mistake about it, it doesn’t matter what we achieve in our transformation agenda – is the single most difficult item, which if not solved can bring down the polity and can create a mayhem here.

“So it is something that we have focused on. So I have been able to get a bit of cooperation from CBN on that.”

He called on his team to “HELP create ideas. HELP suggest ways in which we can find lasting solutions to this”.

“And if we do that, collectively, every one of us a piece, at the end of the process, people will remember the difficulties, but will also remember an NNPC that was united in the solution to this problem. At the end of the day, it’s not all about ME, it’s actually about YOU.”

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