Association attributes fuel scarcity to increased cost of diesel

Okorie called for a slight increase in fuel  price to tackle the challenges of scarcity, especially in Abuja


The Natural oil and gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), on Tuesday attributed the current scarcity of fuel on high cost of diesel for transporting fuel  .
Mr Benneth Okorie, the National President of NOGASA said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja.
Okorie called for a slight increase in fuel  price to tackle the challenges of scarcity, especially in Abuja
According to him ,the reason the nation is  having scarcity  of petroleum products in Abuja, particularly is as a result of the high cost of diesel.
He explained that diesel as at today, was N850 per litre in  the market,  adding that the money being paid to transporters was not  enough.
“If you look at it at  N850 ,and you are giving your driver N1,200 litres from Abuja to Lagos,if you plus and minis it ,you will find out that it is about N40 per litre .
“So, if you add it to PMS, buying the deport price and seling here is too high, if you bring it at N40 and you buy at N155 plus N40 which is 195 , you now  sell at N165,who will do that business ?it is at a loss .
“Even with the PEF, you will not get the product to Abuja, so the answer to your questions is the  price of diesel is too high at N850 as at  today in the market.
“As far as I know, nothing  for now to address this situation , the only way out, if you want to know is that they should increase the price of fuel a little to reduce the money spent on PMS subsidy.”
Okorie  said that the hike in diesel  price was responsible for most activities because you use disel to transport fuel  to filling stations, it is used  for   businesses in Nigeria because of lack of light.
He said that if the fuel price could be increased a  little, although it would hurt Nigerians the challenge would be resolved because that was the  only solution.
“Increase the fuel price a little so that the savings  will be enough for the Central Bank Bank (CBN) to have enough forex .
“You and I know that everything now is import, the diesel is import and it is  a full deregulation  business.
” So the importers are not getting dollars to import this deisel at the official rate of CBN.
“So everybody is going to black market to get dollars  to import their diesel, so you expect the desiel to be high .”
According to Okorie, if  the rate of the user on that foreign exchange can be brought down, it wll help  other business men  importing deisel  to bring it at a low price .
He said that other places  like Lagos and Port Harcourt were not experiencing  queues because of the presence of ports in those states.
“You are talking about Lagos to Abuja and you are  talking about Port Harcourt  to Abuja and you are talking about Warri to Abuja  so the cost of dlesel  for transporting the product is high.
“Not just that ,the roads are bad ,the maintainance  is too high ,So you can  not make any profit ,if you go round  now you see 75 per cent of  filling stations in Nigeria are  going  out of business. “
Okorie said that  the government needed to do  something fast otherwise  desel would be sold  between N1000 to N1500 in the next  two weeks.
  He said that another way forward was to ensure that the refineries were working, adding ” I heard in the news that Dangote  needs 1.1 billion dollars  to complete the refinery before the end of the year.
“I  will  advise that if all the banks can come together and assist him to  get it done quickly ,this is the  only remedy we have for now.”
Okorie called for urgent steps to address the situation before it affected salaries and businesses in Nigeria .
He  said  that  the landing cost of fuel is high and so the only solution remained fixing the refineries which was in the long term ,while the short term plan remained  increase in fuel price.



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