PAYMENT of subsidy on fuel importation and Foreign Exchange (FOREX) differentials on bank loans granted to marketers by the Federal Government are to end soon.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the government was doing everything to ensure that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) become sole importer of petroleum products.
Members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have been on a running battle with the Federal Government over subsidy claims running into several millions of dollars.
But Emefiele said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the NNPC to cut down on importation by reactivating the four refineries and ensuring they function at installed capacities.
Speaking in an interview with Financial Times of London, the CBN chief 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.
“The Warri and Port Harcourt refineries have started producing. They have not obtained the optimal capacity but they will. The 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.
”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 efforts being made by the President to recoup stolen oil revenues believed to have been deposited in foreign banks, Emefiele said the issue was still being looked at, assuring that “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”.