Forex: Marketers warn of rising diesel prices and gasoline shortages

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) said that the rise in diesel prices and the current oil crisis are due to a shortage of foreign exchange (forex) to import diesel.

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant a five-month emergency forex window for rising diesel imports.

Currently, a liter of diesel sells for over N750, a situation that affects tankers and other transport services as well as banks and industries.

Speaking at the second annual meeting of the National Executive Council in Abuja on Thursday, NOGASA Chairman Beneth Korie said the depots were spending around 20 million naira a week on diesel to fuel them while struggling to pay wages.

He said the high diesel price has increased traders’ administrative costs.

“What we are asking for is an emergency intervention in dollars. Just make the dollars available at the official rate, I give you my word, diesel prices will crash. As long as our members get dollars from the black market, the price of diesel will continue to be high.

Korie said the Federal Government of Nigeria should repair the four refineries and support the Dangote refinery project with foreign exchange and increase crude for the modular refineries to reduce over-reliance on imported products.

NOGASA has requested that the National Assembly review the tax law to remove the value added tax (VAT) affecting the supply and distribution chain of petroleum products.

“The association urges the relevant sectors of the National Assembly to pass a bill establishing an energy bank to facilitate transactions in petroleum products and the oil and gas sector.”

While NOGASA has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for foreign exchange support for diesel imports, it has appealed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to provide temporary tax relief on the products until until the global diesel crisis is resolved.

“We have workers to pay the wages and so if the government doesn’t do something quickly it will affect our businesses and affect the wages,” Korie said.

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