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Prepare for fuel scarcity at Christmas, oil marketers advise Nigerians

Prepare for fuel scarcity at Christmas, oil marketers advice Nigerians

Unless urgent solution is found to the prevailing dollar scarcity facing Nigeria, the December holidays may be celebrated without fuel, and this is according to feelers from the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Rising from a meeting of key players in the sector, on Saturdaythe marketers said cost of petrol at the international market had risen from $525 per tonne to $548 in the last one month while they were still battling on how to source dollar for import of the product.

They therefore called on the federal government to guarantee that it would sustain the N135-N145 per litre by ensuring that they are assisted to source dollar through the interbank foreign exchange market, failure of which they should not be held accountable for impending scarcity any moment from October 2016.

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In a communiqué issued by the committee of chief executives of the firms, including Forte Oil Plc, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc, Conoil Plc and MRS, the marketers blamed scarcity of dollar for the challenges they are currently facing.

It will be recalled that Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had in May entered into understanding with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to extend some priorities to NOMAN in a bid to sustaining pegging petrol pricat N145 per litre.

But the marketers are also raising the issue of government not paying enough attention to aviation fuel, among other demands.

They condemned in strong terms what they described as multiple levies, taxes, fees and charges on imported products by agencies of the same or different tiers of government.

“We call on the federal government to summon the courage to halt the annual fuel crisis during the yuletide season by empowering marketers and importers with the required forex to stockpile products ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“We note that there are some few glitches here and there and we call on the regulatory agencies to face these challenges with a view to nipping all nefarious activities associated with supply and distribution in the bud.

“In order for the private sector to continue to play its role in the importation of PMS (petrol), the dollar/naira parity should stay at a level that will ensure that the open market price band of N135-N145 is maintained,” they stated

By Emma Eke….

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