Petrol price: Oil Marketers urge FG to tackle FOREX challenge
Oil traders asked the Federal Government on Monday in Abuja to act quickly and stop the persistent decline in the value of the Naira against the dollar, which has had a substantial impact on petrol pump prices.
The President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Mr. Benneth Korie told journalists that the pump price would rise in the coming days due to the significant fall in the value of the Naira to the dollar.
Mr. Korie stated that petrol pump prices may rise next week to reflect the market exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar, emphasising the importance of the government streamlining the currency trading market.
According to him, “Today as we speak, diesel is going for N920/950 per litre, before now, it was N600 plus, and then the government introduced tax on the product. We will suggest that the government should take action on the dollar issue otherwise diesel and petrol and other petroleum products will go up more than what you are seeing today.
“The only way out is (for the government) to take serious action by calling the BDC (bureau de change) and the bank managing directors to sit down with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and come out with one uniform price for the Naira against the dollar. Leaving it freely to be determined by the market will spell doom for the country. The way it is going, it will destroy a lot of things for us”.
The marketers also stated that restoring the moribund refineries has become a national priority, claiming that restoring the refineries will stabilise fuel pump prices and ease pressure on the local currency.
“We have Nigerian engineers and they should be saddled with fixing the refineries. I believe Nigerian engineers can fix the problems and with the right machineries. Every time, billions of Naira is spent on repairing the refineries by foreigners, now see where it has gotten us. One of the factors responsible for the problem we are facing today is that the government removed subsidies before fixing the refineries”.
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The marketers also task the government with repairing the country’s road networks, emphasising that it was taking a severe toll on the cost operations in the downstream sector.
“The route from Warri to Abuja is a no-go area. Our trucks are at a standstill, and our drivers are being kidnapped and killed. Our trucks are vandalized and the products are taken out of them and this is a waste of money. We had this same problem last year in the same place yet nothing has been done”, he added.
The NOGASA President commented that the business environment had become suffocating, with some filling stations closing due to excessive operating costs.
“If you go round, you’ll see a lot of filling stations are closing. If you were trading with N10 million before, forget about it. Someone who was trading with N100 million, you could buy one million litre of petrol in a month to sell but now, with N100 million you can only buy 150,000 litres in a month. You’ll also incur the same expenses when selling one million liters in a month”.
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The current Nigerian economy is not encouraging at all, we just have to be prayerful and hope for the best.
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