Lubricant producers petition Osinbajo on multiple import levies
The charge, being demanded by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), is in addition to other arbitrary charges, dues, levies, fees and taxes by various unauthorised agencies.
In a copy of the petition signed by the Executive Secretary, Emeka Obidike, and made available to The Guardian on Sunday, the association decried that manufacturers are being tasked with multiple levies and charges, which are inimical to their business operations.
They condemned these illegal acts being carried out by some unauthorised agencies under spurious administrative jurisdictions, designations and initiatives, and the pain of having their consignment detained or confiscated, premises sealed, and business commitments compromised, despite being shown a genuine licence from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Obidike described base oil as 100 per cent import-dependent, which risk is solely borne by the importer; unlike other white products that attract five per cent duty, and are not subject to regulation as their prices are subject to market forces.
He further complained about the lack of government intervention (subsidy), and favourable policies in the lubricant subsector.
He cautioned that the multiple levies were capable of increasing the expenses and other ancillary costs connected to receiving the product, and significantly inflates the market cost of locally made lubricants making it less attractive than its imported substandard counterpart.
He said: “the PPPRA, on the heels of DPR’s activities, arrive with modus operandi similar albeit more complicated to that of the DPR’s, with their officials and independents (more often surveyors, as certain procedures are outsourced), who more often are not punctual in discharging their duties and services.
Operators are compelled to furnish documents and certifications, most of which are not applicable and in most cases out-rightly alien to the business of base oil importation.
“That the above stated actions result in the vessels (foreign by origin) being delayed, the cost of which is determined in dollars (a minimum of $20,000 per day).
“That the general attitude of the government agencies toward indigenous businesses is patently hostile, as they are swift to shut down and mete out stringent penalties at the slightest hint of non-conformity or administrative oversight rather than assist same to regularise.