…Says vessel rental prohibitive: costs $85,000 daily

Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) have dissociated themselves from the lingering scarcity, as well as high cost of fuel nationwide.

According to them, the situation is redeemable if only government can apply the will power.
Pointedly, the group said the scarcity of products stems from market forces and logistics challenges beyond union members’ control.

Addressing a media parley yesterday in Abuja, the national president of the association, Mr. Benneth Korie, said oil marketers were battling the double tragedy of foreign exchange scarcity and hike in vessel rental, which he said costs as much as $85,000 daily.

He stated that in order to achieve a steady supply, and price of diesel, the authorities   must deal with the cost of and supply of petrol, because it is the surest way of dealing with costly petrol and the attendant scarcity because the logistics needed to ensure adequate petrol supply revolves around diesel.

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“You need diesel to power the tankers that load the petrol at the depots. The vessels (ship) also need diesel to function. You need diesel to run the depots and diesel to run the filling stations’ generators. You see it?” he said.

The NOGASA president said his members are faced with the challenges of high cost of renting vessels to import petroleum products, impassable roads, dollar scarcity, increase in product prices overseas, among others.

“So, when people wonder why we are selling products higher, these are the reasons. Before now, we refine in-country. Now, it’s through NNPCL which is now a private sector entity. All products are sourced outside.

“It costs $85,000 per day to rent vessels to bring in products. Add that to the cost of running the depots and filling stations. We are not happy selling at that price but we have no choice.

“We borrow money from the banks to run this business at 30% interest rate. Another issue is bad roads. It’s a major challenge. From PHC to Abuja, no one kilometre without deep pothole. Have you asked now much oil marketers are losing.

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“Many tankers lose products as they fall? Who will pay? Insurance can’t do much here. So, fix roads and dollar issue. We need dollars to remain afloat. NNPC is also suffering. You can’t import products at N600 and sell at N180. It’s tough. We have assurance that NNPC refinery will start working between now and next month ending.

“Prices will go down by then. It’ll eliminate cost of cargo rental and loading. Landing cost is not less than N280/litre,” the NOGASA president added.

By Bosco Agba

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