An independent marketer has imported the first batch of petrol, consisting of 27 million liters, into Nigeria, effectively ending the downstream monopoly previously enjoyed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). The vessel, ST Nnene, arrived at Ijegun-Egba on Wednesday after facing delays due to adverse weather conditions.
The importation comes following the official end to subsidies by President Bola Tinubu on May 29. ST Nnene was hired at a cost of $17 million by Emadeb Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Adebowale Olujimi, along with support from financial institutions including Polaris, First Bank, Union Bank, Access Bank, and Fidelity Bank.
As foreign exchange rates and crude oil prices have risen, petrol prices in Nigeria have also increased, from an average of N180/N200 per liter to N614 per liter. Olujimi stated that relying on petrol importation is not sustainable, emphasizing the need to revive local refining instead.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority sees the development as a significant milestone since the downstream sector was deregulated. They believe that allowing market forces to determine prices will eventually lead to lower prices due to increased competition.
The Natural Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also advocate for local refining and fair pricing to alleviate the impact of deregulation on consumers.