“I have been able to convince the upstream oil companies to provide foreign exchange buffers over the next one year for those who’re bringing in products,” Kachikwu said in video posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
Companies importing fuel in Nigeria have been hindered by lack of access to foreign exchange following the plunge in the price of oil, the main foreign income earner in Africa’s largest oil exporter. This has resulted in widespread supply shortages across the country of about 180 million people that state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., or NNPC, has been unable to address, Kachikwu said.
Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp. will provide dollars to their local retails units, Total Nigeria Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc has been paired with local oil importer Conoil Plc and Eni SpA with Oando Plc, said Kachikwu.
Nigeria imports about 70 percent of its refined-fuel needs, after decades of poor maintenance and mismanagement left four state-owned refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Warri working at a fraction of their 445,000 barrels per day capacity.