CEM REPORT | With the price of diesel hitting the roof by a 200% increase, operators in the manufacturing sector have called on the Federal Government to issue licenses that will allow the sector import diesel.
Members under the aegis of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) made the call to the Federal Government stating the move will prevent an imminent collapse of the sector.
MAN made the call via a press statement titled ‘The Position of MAN on the Recent Increase in the Price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)’, issued by the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stating its intention to import diesel from neighbouring countries as Republic of Niger and Chad.
“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 in order to cushion the effect of the supply gap driven high cost of AGO.”
MAN in its statement asked the Federal Government to issue the license to manufacturing and aviation sector to facilitate the importation of diesel.
‘’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.”
MAN appealed to the Federal Government to address the constant collapse of the national grid adding that shortage of electricity was inversely affecting manufacturers.
Also, the association expressed worry the sudden 200% increased in the price of the product on the economy.
“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 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?”
The association further called on the government to remove VAT on diesel as part of the immediate incentive to help reduce its price and also expedite action in resuscitation or privatising the public refineries in the country.