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CBN establishes department for crude oil sales, says NNPC CEO

Move to channel oil proceeds through CBN receives mixed reactions amid assurances of stable petrol prices

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, unveiled the establishment of a dedicated department by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to oversee crude oil sales transactions. The announcement came during a meeting between CBN officials, led by Governor Olayemi Cardoso, and NNPCL management.

In response to directives reportedly initiated by President Bola Tinubu, the NNPCL board greenlit the redirection of significant revenue portions to the apex bank. This strategic move aims to enhance fiscal prudence and maintain safe obligor limits with commercial banks, according to Kyari.

Kyari expressed appreciation for the timely support from the CBN, highlighting the necessity of additional assistance to navigate the complex financial landscape. He emphasized the pivotal role of the newly established department in ensuring seamless operations and fostering collaborative efforts between NNPCL and CBN.

Governor Cardoso affirmed the CBN’s readiness to shoulder the weighty responsibility entrusted by NNPCL, underscoring internal restructuring efforts to accommodate the increased mandate effectively. The collaboration between the two entities, Cardoso noted, serves the collective interests of NNPCL and Nigeria at large.

However, the decision to transfer NNPCL’s oil sales transactions to the CBN stirred controversy, drawing criticism from figures like Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. Abubakar condemned the move as illegal and cautioned against undermining the operational independence of the NNPCL.

Meanwhile, NNPCL sought to allay concerns over petrol price hikes, assuring Nigerians of stable fuel costs. Chief Corporate Communications Officer Olufemi Soneye urged motorists to disregard speculative rumors and reiterated the ample availability of gasoline nationwide.

As the nation grapples with evolving economic dynamics, the collaboration between NNPCL and CBN reflects ongoing efforts to navigate challenges while prioritizing national interests and public welfare.

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