Lagos – Nigeria has short-listed about 20 international and indigenous petroleum product suppliers to import petrol into the country, the government said this week.
Reginald Stanley, executive secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory, says the move is aimed at ensuring that only credible and professional suppliers import fuel into the country and keep unscrupulous operators out of the business.
Stanley told journalists in Lagos that the 20 suppliers were shortlisted following a very stringent vetting process.
"About 20 suppliers have been pre-qualified for petroleum importation into Nigeria. We will soon publish the list of international suppliers. Once the list is published, you cannot import petroleum products into this country if you are not on the list.
"The next thing is for the pre-qualified suppliers to sign a bond with government agencies regarding playing by the rules in the oil and gas sector. If any of them breaks set out rules as far as fuel importation in the country is concerned, it will be de-listed and will not be able to do business in Nigeria, and by implication, cannot do business in West Africa," said Stanley.
The list, according to Stanley, is awaiting approval from the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, before it can be made public.
Though Stanley refused to disclose the names on the list, it is believed that some of the pre-qualified suppliers include some international suppliers such as Vitol, Transfigura and Glencore.
Indigenous companies such as Oando and Sahara Energy were also said to have made the list.
Stanley, who stressed the country's downstream oil sub-sector had been sanitised, said the PPPRA had restricted downstream participation to only owners of coastal discharge/depot facilities.
This strategy, he explained, had helped the agency ban 99 briefcase oil marketers from the industry.
Stanley also insisted that the downstream sector had been rid of corrupt practices that were prevalent before November 2011.
"Today, you cannot claim subsidy if you cannot prove to us that you have achieved 80 per cent truck out of your product. You cannot discharge petroleum product in Nigeria today without an international monitor," he said.
The PPPRA has also placed a ban on cargo from storage tanks in West African coasts except from refineries to eliminate round tripping.
- CAJ News