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 .(NAN)