Forex cause of disparity in fuel prices, say marketers
Oil marketers and petroleum depot operators, under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) have given an insight into costs incurred to make the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol available in the market.
DAPPMAN’s Chairman, Mrs. Winifred Akpani, who made this known in Lagos, explained that marketers pay through their noses to get the products and also face huge charges which are denominated in foreign exchange.
Akpani said that accessing foreign exchange at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rate was a serious challenge for marketers and is responsible for the price differential in petrol distribution in the country. She decried what she termed the “absence of a level-playing field” that guaranteed access to dollars for all marketers at official rates.
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For instance, Mrs. Akpani revealed that to charter a vessel to convey 20,000 metric tons of petrol within Nigeria for 10 days cost about N220 million at official government exchange rate of N440; but for marketers who buy forex from the parallel market at N880 to a dollar, the same 20, 000 metric tons of fuel cost them N440 million. This, she said, implies an additional cost of N11 per litre for this transaction due to the forex official and parallel market differential.
She lamented that transactions are all done in forex, which has made it more excruciating for the operators.
Still using the 20, 000 metric tons of petrol as benchmark, Akpani gave a further breakdown of charges paid on same transaction to include: jetty fees, which is also charged in dollars, amounts to N15.4 million at official forex rates and N30.8 million for petroleum marketers who source from the parallel market.
“In addition, jetty berth is charged in dollars and comes to N2.2 million at official forex rate and N4.4 million at parallel market rate. While port dues, charged in dollars by the NPA and NIMASA come to N71.51 million at official forex rate and N142.796 million for marketers who source forex from the parallel market,” she said.