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Deregulation: IPMAN, stakeholders, laud Polaris Bank, Emadeb Energy for landmark 20,000 metric tonnes PMS import

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (lPMAN) has commended Polaris Bank, Nigeria’s leading digital commercial Bank and Emadeb Energy Services Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous players in oil and gas, for their collaborative efforts and stategic partnership that resulted in the recent importation of 20,000 metric tonnes of premium motor spirit (petrol) into the country.

The National Operations Controller of lPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, speaking exclusively to PLATFORMS AFRICA, described the pioneering feat by Polaris Bank and Emadeb Energy as unprecedented, noting that they have both made it possible for Nigeria to break the age-long monopoly in the downstream sector.

He specifically commended Polaris Bank for fully funding the whole cargo to the tune of N13bn, thus enabling the transportation of the 20,000 metric tonnes, or 27 million litres of petrol, to the country seamlessly. He noted that the Bank’s support exemplified the pivotal role played by the financial institutions to support the growth of the critical downstream sector of the economy.

“The NNPC’s many years of monopoly in terms of importation have been broken by Emadeb Energy Services Ltd. This is commendable, particularly for the company. Being the pioneer in a tough terrain is not easy. But of specific interest is (Polaris Bank) the Bank that financed this feat. We were there to witness the event. We saw the cargo ship as it arrived. It is a huge investment. The Bank has demonstrated strong belief in the market after deregulation. I call on others to emulate this,” Osatuyi said.

The IPMAN Chief added that total deregulation of the downstream sector was good for the economy and assured the association’s support for the policy and financial institutions willing to collaborate with other players to ensure an uninterrupted supply of petroleum products available in the country.

“We are now in a free market for PMS, and I believe everyone will be better for it. As for us in IPMAN, we are ready to collaborate with financial stakeholders in making supply available across the country,” he stated.

Stakeholders who also spoke on the feat had positive reflections and perspectives on the development. The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, during the historic welcoming of ST Nnene, the vessel bearing 20,000 metric tonnes of premium motor spirit on 19th July 2023, described the development as an important milestone since the downstream sector was fully deregulated.

“This is what we have been looking forward to. When we talk about deregulation, people think it’s all about increasing prices. No. Although prices would now be determined by market dynamics, deregulation also opens up the market for other players to come in,” he declared.

Speaking on the feat, Chinwe Iloghalu, Executive Director at Polaris Bank, said: “We are enthralled to have partnered with Emadeb Energy on this important project”. She added, “This importation is a major milestone for us as a financial partner and Banker to Emadeb Energy, and we are proud to have played a role in making it possible.” Continuing, she noted, “Polaris Bank is a leading provider of financial services to businesses of all sizes. The Bank has a long history of supporting businesses in achieving their goals, and we are proud to be a part of Emadeb Energy’s success story,” Chinwe remarked.

Polaris Bank, since its inception in 2018 as a strategic financial institution, has been at the forefront of providing the required funding and financial advisory to top, medium and small players in the oil and gas industry for the growth of the nation’s upstream and downstream sector, as well as the overall growth of the Nigerian economy.

Emadeb Energy, it would be recalled, recorded a landmark feat with the importation of 20,000 metric tonnes of PMS into Nigeria, the first-of-its-kind ever undertaken by any private sector player towards product availability in Nigeria since the final removal of subsidy on petrol.

Polaris Bank is a digitally-enabled Bank focused on providing superior financial solutions and products to its customers across sectors with industry-specific and individual needs; the Bank was adjudged Digital Bank of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

Image credit: Polaris Bank

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