Masters Energy Oil & Gas Limited has urged the Federal Government to address the Foreign exchange constraints in product importation.
The Executive Director of Operations, Masters Energy Group, Felix Eribo, said this in an interview with The PUNCH, on the sidelines of the just-concluded 2023 Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream Week, in Lagos.
He urged the Federal Government to mandate the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Customs, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other agencies to collect all import-related charges and fees in naira instead of dollars.
According to Eribo, the Federal Government has a lot to do to manage the FX element in the import template.
He noted that the foreign exchange challenge posed a major hiccup in the importation and marketing of petroleum products in the country.
“In terms of the FX issue, the Federal Government has a lot to do in the management of the FX element in the template.
“But why should the NPA charge in dollars? Because they charge in dollars, you are not going to get that dollar from the CBN. You are putting more pressure on the dollar and everybody who is dealing in petroleum products will have to pay in dollars to government agencies. And the rate continues to go up,” he stated.
Eribo argued that if the Federal government could mandate the NPA to charge in naira, it would reduce the pressure on the naira.
“And it will reduce the landing cost of that PMS or whatever product because you are now paying in naira. Then, NIMASA, cabotage- all these are being charged in dollars whereas we are selling the products in naira. So, if we can manage those forex elements within the template, the pressure will come down,” he declared.
Meanwhile, Eribo pointed out that though CNG is cheaper than petrol, the unavailability of gas posed a challenge to its adoption.
He stated that this had discouraged marketers from setting up CNG refilling plants and also dampened the willingness of vehicle owners to convert their vehicles to CNG-powered.