Marketers to FG: Our Businesses Collapsing Due to Foreign Exchange Depreciation, Bad Roads

 In Abuja, Emmanuel Addeh reports that the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) urged the federal government yesterday to address the difficult working conditions faced by its members. During a press briefing led by their National President, Mr. Benneth Korie, NOGASA emphasized the detrimental impact of the high dollar exchange rate on their businesses. They requested that the foreign exchange (FX) rate for importing fuel be fixed at N600 for the next three months. The organization expressed concerns about challenges in procuring and distributing petroleum products, along with the hardships arising from rising petrol and diesel pump prices nationwide.

NOGASA expressed serious worries that without government intervention by December, there would be increased loss of lives, businesses, and jobs due to the unmanageable costs of importing, lifting, transporting, and distributing petroleum products. Diesel prices reached N1,000 per litre, causing suppliers significant distress. Depot owners also suffered due to the soaring exchange rates, leading to many deserted depots and difficulties securing loans for business operations. Filling stations faced closures, and dealers were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Korie emphasized the urgent need for government assistance to prevent a catastrophic industry collapse, stressing the crucial role of the oil sector in the country's economy. He called for immediate "emergency palliative measures," allowing fuel imports at a rate of at least N600 per dollar for the next three months while awaiting refinery reactivation. NOGASA also highlighted the deplorable state of Nigeria's roads, which hindered petroleum product distribution and urged the government to engage the local workforce in refurbishing and maintaining the road network, creating jobs in the process.

Lastly, NOGASA urged the removal of obstacles in agencies involved in dollar transactions for marketers, as the current bottlenecks were harming their businesses. They appealed for swift action to rescue the industry from impending collapse.

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