Masters Energy Oil & Gas Limited has petitioned the Federal Government to ease currency restrictions in product importation.
The Punch reported that this was said by the Executive Director of Operations of Masters Energy Group, Felix Eribo, on the sidelines of the just completed 2023 Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream Week in Lagos.
He urged the Federal Government to direct that all import-related levies and fees be collected in naira rather than dollars by the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Customs, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and other agencies.
Eribo claimed that managing the FX element in the import template is a major responsibility of the federal government.
He pointed out that the difficulty with foreign exchange posed a major hiccup in the importation and marketing of petroleum products in the country.
“The management of the FX element in the template is a major responsibility of the Federal Government in relation to the FX issue.
“However, why should the NPA bill in US dollars? You won’t receive that dollar from the CBN as they bill in dollars. As a result of your increased pressure on the dollar, everybody who deals in petroleum products will have to pay government organizations in dollars. And the rate keeps rising,” he said.
Eribo claimed that the pressure on the naira would be lessened if the federal government could order the NPA to charge in naira.
“Additionally, since you are now paying in naira, the landing cost of that PMS or any other product will be lower. Then, NIMASA and cabotage are all assessed in dollars, even though the things we sell are valued in naira. The pressure will therefore lessen if we can control the FX components inside the template,” he said.
Although CNG is less expensive than petrol, Eribo said that the lack of gas supply made it difficult for people to use CNG.
According to him, this has made car owners less inclined to convert their vehicles to run on CNG and deterred marketers from opening CNG refilling stations.