Petrol scarcity: Marketers accuse NIMASA, NPA of dollarising transactions
A year after Federal Government’s directive on naira for port charges, Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), yesterday, claimed that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have continued to dollarise transactions.
A communiqué widely reported in the media last November and signed by heads of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and DAPPMAN directed that port charges should be collected in naira.
Second Vice Chairman, DAPPMAN, Mammod Tukur said the attempt to enforce the decision has remained unfruitful.
The marketers charged relevant agencies to give vent to the directive.
The body said: “Some years ago, the Vice President chaired a meeting which included the Chief of Staff, talking about the fact that marketers having to pay port charges to NPA and to NIMASA in dollars was no longer acceptable because it was affecting the sector.
“A directive was given that these agencies should henceforth charge marketers in naira, but that has not been implemented. That’s a major challenge.
“The price of dollar is practically driven by demand. If there’s no supply, then obviously the price will rise. So, in this instance, every time a vessel needs to berth, we have to pay port charges in dollars.”
Chairman of the association, Winifred Akpani, explained that the foreign exchange conundrum was affecting petroleum marketers, pointing out that to charter a vessel to convey 20,000 metric tonnes of petrol within Nigeria for 10 days, freight charges are denominated in dollars valued at about N220 million at official forex rate of N440 and N440 million for marketers, who have to source forex from the parallel market at N880.
“This implies an additional cost of N11 per litre for this transaction due to the forex official/parallel market differential. For this same transaction, jetty fees, again, charged in dollar, come to N15.4 million at official forex rates and N30.8 million for petroleum marketers, who source from the parallel market,” she added.