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Fear in energy sector as N1,500 per litre diesel price looms



...N714/litre aviation fuel sends jitters among flight operators

UNEASY calm is pervading Nigeria’s oil and gas sector over new fear that price of diesel may rise to N1500 from N800 for which the commodity sells across most parts of the country.

  National President of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association (NOGASA), Bennett Korie, dropped the bombshell during a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

  Explaining that cost of diesel will hit the roof if nothing drastic is done to curtail the current challenge faced by importers of the deregulated commodity, Korie said this was also the reason why petrol scarcity had failed to abate in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger States, among others.

  “If you go round now, you will see that about 75 per cent of filling stations in Nigeria have gone out of business. There is no diesel to take fuel to their stations. All of them are going down. And it is not that the fuel is not there, but the cost of bringing it to the stations is too high.

We know that the crisis between Ukraine and Russia has contributed badly, but the government has to do something fast, otherwise we are going to buy diesel in the next two weeks at N1000 to N1500/litre. As far as I am concerned, the situation is nothing to hope for now. The only way out, if you want to know, is that they (the government) should increase the price of fuel a little to reduce the money spent on PMS subsidy.

I know Nigerians will not be happy to hear this, but this is the only solution. They should increase the price of fuel a little so that the savings will enable Central Bank of Nigeria to have enough foreign exchange. You and I know we import everything now in Nigeria and diesel is an imported product, fully deregulated, but importers are not getting dollars at official CBN rate.

Everybody is going to black market to get dollars to import their products and so you expect diesel price to be high,” he said.

  Similarly at least three domestic airlines may close shop in the coming months due to continuous rise in the price of Jet A1, otherwise known as aviation fuel, after the commodity skyrocketed to 714 per litre in some airports in the country.

  Speaking during maiden edition Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference (FNAC) in Abuja, yesterday, Vice Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Allen Onyema, warned that if the present challenge of aviation fuel was not nipped in the bud, more airlines may shut down operations in the coming months.

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