Fuel Price: NOGASA wants FG to fix bad roads, forex, refineries others

Mr Benneth Korie, National President, Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA)
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By Emmanuella Anokam

The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has urged the Federal Government to fix bad roads and encourage private and modular refineries to enable affordable petroleum products.

NOGASA also called on the government to reduce Value Added Taxes on imported products, especially the Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO), called diesel, to reduce cost of transporting petroleum products.

Mr Benneth Korie, President, NOGASA, while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, said petroleum tankers spent days on the road while transporting products while flooding had ravaged many parts of the highways causing more delays.

Korie, while calling for quick intervention, said to facilitate mobility, he had expended N50 million in the rehabilitation of some sections of east west road to aid transportation of petroleum products.

He also emphasised that the AGO was important in building the nation’s economy, adding that the rising cost of the product would drastically affect hike of transportation on land and sea.

According to him, since deregulation is now in the pipeline, government should reduce taxes on imported products to give suppliers and consumers a palatable platform.

Korie decried the fall in naira to dollar in the exchange rate, saying this has contributed to the dependence of Nigeria in importation of petroleum and other commodities.

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on all Nigerian refineries to hasten repairs and improve naira value in the foreign exchange market.

Korie, while pledging to support the Federal Government to mitigate the effect of fuel subsidy removal, also promised to support government to tackle difficulties associated with the removal.

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He said that the association was expecting the Federal Government to bring critical stakeholders together to design alternative sources of energy that could be evenly distributed across the country.

“NOGASA is ready to collaborate with the government anytime it is called upon and will deliver every assignment within its ambit of power,” he said.

He underscored the importance of exploring Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to cushion the subsidy removal effect, adding that they have become competitive and viable options.

Korie reiterated the association’s readiness to partner with the Federal Government in terms of provision of manpower and gas facilities station nationwide, as well as the training and convention centres to achieve desired targets.

“The need for an increase in manpower is an urgent issue that bothers on economic stability, there is need for government to expedite action to achieve the desire goal.

“From the large sum of money realised from fuel subsidy removal, government could provide buses that use CNG and normal fossil oil, for fare reduction in order not to kill investments in fossil oil business.

“The National Gas Expansion Programme Committee should be called back to continue their good work of bringing sellers and suppliers of CNG equipment together, and boost quality assurance,” he said.

He also suggested that refineries should be overhauled under close government supervision and that the National Gas Expansion Programme Committee should continue its work to ensure sustainable growth.

He also called on the Federal Government to avoid marketers and suppliers slipping into the hands of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited ( NNPCL) as the company remained the major importers of petroleum products in the country.

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According to him, government should be wary of slipping back into the subsidy regime because prices are still rising. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Vincent Obi

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