Manufacturers fear shutdowns, job losses as diesel price hits N950/litre
Oil marketers, on Monday, said the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria and the recent implementation of a 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, had pushed up the cost of the commodity to between N900 and N950/litre in many states.
The development has made local manufacturers say that the situation may lead to the closure of some factories and job losses.
Speaking under the auspices of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) at a press briefing in Abuja, the marketers explained that their inability to access the United States dollars was impeding their ability to import diesel.
The National President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, told newsmen that the cost of diesel was around N650/litre before the Federal Government introduced a 7.5 per cent VAT on the commodity.
In his words, “Diesel price is now approaching N900 to N950/litre depending on where you are buying it from. Before the introduction of VAT on diesel by the FIRS, diesel was around N650/litre.
“This increase in price is also due to the scarcity of the dollars. The government has to intervene in this dollar situation. All bank CEOs, Central Bank of Nigeria and others must meet to address this dollar issue. The way it is going, it will destroy a lot of things for us if it is not controlled.”
Korie also called on President Bola Tinubu to get Nigeria’s refineries working, adding that the pressure by marketers and other importers on dollars would reduce when Nigeria’s refineries start to pump out refined products.
“Our refineries were built by human beings and can be fixed by human beings. I believe Nigerian engineers can fix these refineries, instead of us depending on imports. This is not sustainable.
“We are pilling pressure on the very limited dollars in the country by importing petroleum products and other commodities. But once our refineries start working, this pressure will drastically reduce. The government has to fix our refineries,” he stated.