Brand Owners Want licenses To Import Diesel
Producers of consumer goods and other manufacturing companies under the umbrella of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) are calling on the federal government to grant its members licenses to import diesel from the Republic of Niger and Chad, Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.
This call was made following the recent astronomical increase in the price of diesel with negative consequences for the manufacturing sector and the larger economy.
The demand by the manufacturers is contained in a press statement issued by the Director-General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, on Friday to avert the avoidable monumental paralysis of manufacturing activities that could arise from the total shutdown of production operations.
The MAN also tasked the government to develop a response strategy to address challenges emanating from the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The press statement which was titled ‘The Position of MAN on the Recent Increase in the Price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)’, popularly called diesel is said to have gone up by over 200% in price.
According to MAN in the press statement, “In light of the gravity of the precarious situation that we have found ourselves as a nation and the looming dangers ahead, the expectations of manufacturers in Nigeria are as follows: that government should urgently allow manufacturers and independent petroleum products marketing companies to also import AGO from the Republic of Niger and Chad by immediately opening up border posts in that axis to cushion the effect of the supply gap driven the high cost of AGO.”
The government was also asked, “To issue licenses to manufacturing concerns and operators in the aviation industry to import diesel and aviation fuel directly to avert the avoidable monumental paralysis of manufacturing activities arising from total shut down of production operations and movement of persons for business activities.”
According to Ajayi-Kadir, he stated that Nigerian manufacturers are worried about the implications of the over 200% increase in the price of diesel on the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector.
He said, “More worrisome is the deafening silence from the public sector as regards the plight of manufacturers. Four obvious questions that readily come to mind that are seriously begging for answers are: What can we do as a nation to strengthen our economic absorbers from external shocks? Should manufacturing companies that are already battered with multiple taxes, poor access to foreign exchange, and now over 200 per cent increase in the price of diesel be advised to shut down operations? Should we fold our arms and allow the economy to slip into the valley of recession again? Is the nation well equipped to manage the resulting explosive inflation and unemployment rates?”
MAN also stressed the need for the government to address the issue of the constant collapse of the national grid, which is causing acute electricity shortage in the country, especially for manufacturers, adding that government should remove VAT on diesel as part of the immediate incentive to help reduce its price and expedite action in reactivating or privatising the public refineries in the country.