Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday said its members cannot compete with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited on fuel importation.

This, it said, is because of their inability to access foreign currencies at official rates.

The association said the NNPC Limited, a government-owned commercial oil firm and currently the sole importer of Petroleum Motor Spirit (fuel), gets foreign currencies at official rates.

It pointed out that NNPC’s monopoly thrives because the Federal Government has not allowed a window for competitors to import the product.

IPMAN President, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, made this known to  The Nation in Abuja yesterday.

Ahmed, however, hopes that the situation will change with the full implementation of the  Petroleum Industry Act.

He said: “We are always making efforts to import petrol. It is only that we have not been getting Forex.

“Since it is only NNPC that is importing, it has been difficult for us to meet the target because their own (NNPC) is much easier.

“They get allocated Forex at government price/ rate, but we have to go to the autonomous market, which has not been very free.

“When Forex is available, we can import.”