An acute shortage of foreign currencies across the country may have forced some overseas suppliers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol to suspend further supply of the commodity to Nigeria, over a $985 million debt overhang.
Their decision to cut supplies to Nigerian customers may not be unconnected with the inability of importers to source foreign exchange to offset some of their debt liabilities running into millions of Dollars. Confirming the suspension of fuel imports, Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said the $985 million debt profile was for supplies made when the exchange rate was N197/$1, which could not be settled due to forex scarcity.
For now, he said most DAPPMA members depend on imports made by the NNPC as their business activities have been grounded due to liquidity constraints. Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIPCO Plc, Mr. Abiodun Lawal, echoed the position of Adewole, as he lamented that imports are at their lowest ebb. Lawal said the situation was more challenging for independent importers, who have to rely solely on parallel market exchange rates to source forex because they lack support of the government.