The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), has appealed to the federal government to provide palliatives for oil marketers to import fuel at N600 per dollar for three months.
NOGASA said the measures became necessary due to growing challenges of procurement and distribution of petroleum products, especially with the attendant hardships resulting from increased pump prices of petrol and diesel nationwide.
The Association made the call on Thursday in Abuja in a communique at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, presented by its National President, Benneth Korie.
“We wish to sincerely reiterate that the only realistic option out of this dire situation, for now, is for the government to urgently expedite the provision of ‘emergency palliative measures’ for marketers, such that fuels can be imported at the rate of at least N600 per dollar for the next three months while waiting for the promised reactivation of our refineries.
“NOGASA is worried that between now and December 2023, in the absence of intervention, there are increasing losses of lives, businesses, jobs, shut down of filling stations and packing up of petroleum tankers due to high cost of importation, transportation and distribution of products,” he said.
Mr Korie said a major newspaper just confirmed the price of diesel to have hit N1,000 per litre, which he described as “a flash in the pan,” adding that suppliers are at the receiving end of this development.
He recalled that while NOGASA applauded the removal of fuel subsidy, it warned and advised that the right steps be taken to cushion its effects for the survival of citizens and businesses.
…the only realistic option out of this dire situation, for now, is for the government to urgently expedite the provision of ‘emergency palliative measures’ for marketers, such that fuels can be imported at the rate of at least N600 per dollar for the next three months while waiting for the promised reactivation of our refineries.
Similarly, he said depot owners have been negatively affected by the increasing crude and exchange rate costs. Hence, many depots are deserted as their owners could not secure bank loans to fund their businesses due to high-interest rates.
Mr Korie urged the government to save the industry from collapse, which may result in a devastating blow to the economy because the country’s success depended on the survival of the oil industry, whose critical stakeholders are negatively affected.
He said the emergency intervention would go a long way in cushioning the harsh effect of the high cost of importation and equally bring about reasonable relief to the business and cost of living generally.
He decried the poor state of the roads and called for infrastructural provision and maintenance because petroleum products distribution was hampered by unmotorable roads.
Earlier, John Okekeocha, the national secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), decried ineffective governance and removal of fuel subsidy without putting adequate measures like refineries in place.
Also speaking, Billy Harry, President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), said the removal of oil subsidy should have been a stakeholders issue, involving all to sort out measures to cushion it.
According to him, $350,000 is required to establish a CNG station. (NAN)