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The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government has approved six new companies to import petroleum products into Nigeria.
We report that this was made known to State House correspondents by the Managing Director of Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDRA), Farouk Ahmed, at the Presidential Villa.
Ahmed denied reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had approved Dangote Group to import petroleum, stressing that the company has no powers to give such approval.
According to the NMDRA MD, apart from the approved six, several companies applied for permits to import petroleum in due course.
He disclosed that several companies applied for fuel importation permits, and anyone could apply for importation to access the port as the authority is open to all those interested in importing.
Ahmed said, “There are six companies who said they want to import fuel in July. Of course, all the others may import in December in, November, or anytime but for those who expressed interest to bring in fuel in July, there were six of them as of this morning.
“The beauty of it is that there are interests which means that they have been able to have access to foreign exchange in order to import.
“Now, as we go along, of course, we’ll be briefing you on the progress or the achievements so far, but the important thing is that NNPC has 30 days fuel sufficiency, so we do not anticipate any gap in supply or in distribution.”
Meanwhile, Tinubu has commenced moves to stop ship owners from withdrawing their vessels over what they see as excessive charges.
Speaking during an interactive session with shipping stakeholders at the State House, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Zacchaeus Adedeji, warned that Nigeria cannot afford not to have vessels move in and out of the country.
Reports had suggested that at least two ship owners said they were keeping their vessels away from Nigeria after a series of multimillion dollar tax bills were sent out, seeking to recover back unpaid duties from 2010 to 2019.
Adedeji allayed fears within the oil and gas sector, assuring that a technical committee has been set up to resolve the issues in contention.