On Monday, oil marketers said that the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria and the recent introduction of a 7.5% Value-Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil, which is more commonly known as diesel, had caused the price of the product to rise to between N900 and N950 per liter in many states.
Local manufacturers have said that the situation could cause some companies to close and people to lose their jobs.
At a news conference in Abuja, organized by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, the marketers said that they couldn’t buy diesel because they couldn’t get their hands on US dollars.
Benneth Korie, who is the National President of NOGASA, told the media that diesel cost about N650 per liter before the Federal Government put a 7.5% VAT on it.
The Punch revealed on June 20, 2023, that the Federal Government had started requiring diesel buyers to pay 7.5% VAT.
Officials from the Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Inland Revenue Service revealed this in Abuja. They also stressed that the VAT Modification Order 2021 did not exempt AGO from paying VAT.
At a press conference on Monday, the head of NOGASA said, “The price of diesel is now between N900 and N950 per liter, depending on where you buy it.” Before the FIRS added VAT to diesel, a liter of fuel cost about N650.
“The lack of cash is another reason why prices are going up. The government needs to do something about the dollar. The Central Bank of Nigeria and others must get together to talk about this dollar problem. If nothing is done to stop it, it will ruin a lot of things for us.”
Korie also asked Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu to fix the country’s factories. He said that when Nigeria’s refineries start to pump out refined goods, marketers and other importers will put less pressure on the dollar.
“Humans built our factories, and they can be fixed by humans. I think Nigerian experts can fix these refineries so that we don’t have to buy them from other countries. This can’t keep going on.
“We are putting a lot of pressure on the few dollars the country has by bringing in oil products and other goods. But when our plants are up and running, this pressure will drop a lot. He said, “The government needs to fix our refineries.”
The head of NOGASA also complained about how bad the roads in Nigeria are. He used the road between Port Harcourt and Warri as an example, saying that about 500 tankers are stuck on it because it is so bad.
“Our tanks have been on that road for two weeks, and you can’t cross it. Our roads are bad. Our trucks have been stuck on the road between Warri and Abuja for two weeks, and our drivers have been taken and killed while others have to suffer.
“There are blocks on some of the roads.” Petroleum products will stop coming to Abuja and other places in the country if the government doesn’t fix these roads,” Korie said.
Manufacturers don’t like the rise.
In response to this news, Hamma Kwajaffa, Director-General of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, stated that several textile manufacturers were considering closing down due to rising costs, which were primarily the result of skyrocketing energy prices.
The DG said that textile companies couldn’t buy gas at the price that was planned.
He said, “Many are thinking about leaving for the time being. We can’t get together that much money. Today, we have less than 24 linens, and those who are working are thinking about quitting. They are up against the wall. These businesses aren’t helping people in need. They have to get back on track.
In the same way, George Onafowokan, the CEO of Coleman Technical Industries Limited, said that rising gas prices meant that the company would have to pay more to make its products.
He urged the government to find long-term answers to why gas prices keep going up.
Onafowokan said, “Everyone has to pay more when the price of gas goes up. If diesel costs N950, everyone’s prices for logistics and power will go up.
“Everyone is in trouble. Most businesses in Nigeria, especially manufacturers, are taking hits every day. The government needs to do more, not just to help the people but also to help the businesses that hire them, especially manufacturers.