Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has insisted that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is the only solution to addressing the perennial fuel scarcity being experienced in Nigeria.
The association equally called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of PIB and also ensure full deregulation of the sector, stressing that the passage of the PIB would encourage private sector participation.
It explained that full deregulation of the sector would also help create more stable jobs for young Nigerians.
Chinedu Okoronkwo, the President of IPMAN, while briefing journalists at the National Assembly Thursday disclosed that over 50 vessels bearing petrol have recently arrived in Nigerian waters and would help to ease the pockets of fuel scarcity still being experienced in different parts of the country.
The IPMAN President stressed that while the N305 approved for oil imports is easily accessed at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the apex bank does not immediately approve requests for forex for the pricing template charges.
He said the marketer therefore has to find alternative means to get forex to pay the charges to avoid demurrage penalties which run into as much as $25,000 daily.
Okoronkwo reiterated the need for the federal government to prevail on the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stop collecting their charges contained in the pricing template in dollars.
He added that it is necessary as the charges frustrate the marketers who have to resort to the black market to access foreign exchange to effect the payments.